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Mercer Island cancer survivor to run in Million Dollar Marathon
Julie Hamilton, a Mercer Island resident, has been chosen as a participant in the upcoming Million Dollar Marathon. Hamilton is one of 159 cancer survivors and supporters across the country who will each run a marathon along a 4,000-mile route from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean this summer. Each member of the team has the goal of raising $7,500 for cancer research. The race is being sponsored by Above + Beyond Cancer, a nonprofit based out of Iowa.
Hamilton was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2011 after undergoing her first mammogram. Just two weeks after completing radiation therapy, she was accepted into Above + Beyond Cancer’s Imja Tse expedition in Nepal along with another Mercer Island resident and colon cancer survivor, Michael Brick. Hamilton and Brick were selected for the three-week expedition out of thousands of applicants, not based on their past climbing experience, but on their ability and desire to advocate for a specific cancer issue.
“With all the controversy in the press surrounding the appropriate age for mammograms, I find it my quest to advocate for early detection and more research on early stage breast cancer," Hamilton said. "I’m a poster child for early detection, and I have been amazed at how many women in their mid-40s tell me that they have never had a mammogram. If I had waited, I would have faced a much more harrowing battle with cancer.”
In September 2012, the two Islanders trekked through the Himalayas, which included the summit of Imja Tse (20,280 feet).
“Our organization is looking for people who are climbing not in spite of their cancer, but because of their cancer,” said Dr. Richard Deming, the founder and chairman of Above + Beyond Cancer. “We have found that climbing expeditions are a great way to help people transform their cancer diagnosis from something scary and uncertain into something positive and productive. After that transformation occurs, our participants begin their real assignment, which is working with our organization to advocate for issues that will reduce the burden of cancer across the globe.”
Inspired by the trip to Nepal, Hamilton now seeks to help end cancer and reduce the burden cancer puts on the lives of others. As part of her commitment to advocacy for cancer issues, she has joined the Million Dollar Marathon for cancer research. She hopes to raise $7,500.
More information about the Million Dollar Marathon can be found at http://coasttocoastforcancer.org/about. Donations can be made at www.crowdrise.com/runjulierun/fundraiser/juliehamilton1.