BethAnn Telford will leave footprints all over the world next week. Literally.
The 47-year-old from Fairfax, VA is taking on the World Marathon Challenge, which means she will run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.
The difficulty of the challenge is almost incomprehensible. Now consider the fact that Telford is taking this on all while fighting brain cancer.
As she was running the Marine Corps Marathon in 2004, she felt “a strange pop” in her head at mile 19. Later, she was diagnosed with brain cancer and endured two surgeries which left her in the position of needing to relearn how to walk, talk, and run.
She doesn’t drive because she experiences seizures. She also lost her vision in her left eye. However, one of her main concerns during this epic challenge is her bladder.
Her brain cancer also affected her bladder, she said, which led to a surgery for a major bladder augmentation.
Telford said her bladder is one of the things she has to really keep an eye on when participating in the 2017 World Marathon Challenge that has 33 participants from 13 different countries competing. Over the seven days, they’ll each spend 59 hours in flight spanning more than 23,600 miles.
“My bladder can only hold a shot glass of liquid,” she explained. “I self catheter so when I go to the bathroom … during the marathons, I just don’t go into the jiffy pot. I have to keep it clean and sterilized.” (ABC News Radio)
Telford, who still has cancer cells in her body, is raising money for Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, which is a Washington D.C. based organization looking for the quickest and most effective cure for the disease. The money she raises will be funneled to the pediatric side of research.
She doesn’t have any children herself, but she’s well aware that brain cancer beat out all the other forms of cancer as the number one killer of children.
If all goes according to plan, the race will begin in Antarctica on Jan. 23. Then the group, which includes recently retired half-marathon world-record holder, Ryan Hall, will go to Chile. From there, it’s on to Miami, Madrid, Marrakesh, and Sydney.
Since her diagnosis in 2005, Telford has finished multiple marathons and Ironmans. She has even completed a rim-to-rim trek across the Grand Canyon. To date, she’s raised over $835,000 for brain cancer research in participating in these events, and hopes to cross the $1 million mark with this voyage.
If you’d like to contribute to the cause, visit Telford’s Pledge It page.
And stay tuned as she tries to trample a disease that claims the lives of so many.