WESTMINSTER, Md. — A Westminster woman is heading to the big apple for a big run this weekend.
Lee Keagle will join thousands of runners for the 50th annual New York City marathon.
But Lee won't be running for speed...there's a special person and a cause that'll be fueling her footsteps.
For her group, it's about more than just exercise.
"I'm part of a team of 258 other runners that have their own stories, so I consider myself blessed and honored to be a part of something so big. Team determination in the American Cancer Society," Keagle said.
"I was adopted into a family that seems to be cursed by breast cancer," she explained. "My father lost his mother when he was 17 and my aunt is a breast cancer survivor."
Lee's grandfather also battled breast cancer before he died of Alzheimers, but its her aunt bean that she's focused on in this race.
"I love being able to do something to support her in her honor. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and it metastasized in 2010," Keagle said. "There's other activities that I could do to raise fund and awareness. I choose to run 26 miles in New York, so yeah she thinks I'm crazy. She loves that I have the heart and dedication and physical effort to be able to do something like this."
The preparation has been tough she's trained rain or shine since July. She knows the drill because it's her fourth marathon, but she says the work is nothing compared to the pain cancer causes.
"It's a terrible disease. I lost two friends the last couple of years," she said.
"From newborns to older generations it can hit anybody and I just want to be able to help where I can."
Lee hopes to finish is less than five hours and if she struggles she has a secret weapon to help her keep in stride.
"I have something that I can carry around with me. It has names of people who we've lost, names of people who are still around, friends of friends, family of friends so if its not in my hair its on my wrist," she explained. "I'll think of all the people that I'm running for, that I've lost, the ones that are still surviving and that'll get me to the finish line."
Lee's aunt Bean Keagle is a nurse in ocean city where she remains very active in various fundraisers for breast cancer awareness and survivors.
It's never too late...you can go to the American Cancer Society website and search for determination. There you can find out how to volunteer or donate.
Lee's raised $5,000 herself. The team has raised more than a million.