Running from Cancer

Freshman Lily Redmond poses at the SCHS blood drive. [photo courtesy of Delainey Iles, 11]
By: Flynn Lloyd | News Editor

December 18, 2017

Running. For most people, the movement of our legs, accumulation of sweat, and increased heart rate are mundane, even loathed.

But runners love to run.

They love the adventure, freedom, and strength that running provides, and rarely does their mind explore the possibility of suddenly losing this privilege. They don’t dwell on the fear of disease and disability stripping this freedom away from us.

San Clemente High School freshman Lily Redmond didn’t suspect any of this either, and it was something that she couldn’t run away from.

“I found out that I had cancer about two weeks after the cross country tryouts”Redmond said.  “The doctors told me that I would’t be able to run for the next few months, which was hard…at that point I realized that my life would never be the same.”

The ASB vice president of the freshman class, Redmond was just thirteen years old when diagnosed. It’s difficult to imagine the fear and shock that fell on her and her family’s shoulders, so unexpectedly. Redmond is just your typical high school student, but the diagnosis wasn’t something she (or anyone) could ever prepare for.

Most of the time when focusing on cancer, society hones in on the negative instead of appreciating the things that make life enjoyable. With this sudden loss of control in her own life, Redmond was “thankful to have many people there for [her]”— but that didn’t change the fact that a part of her had been taken away. It’s easy to say that we could live without the freedom of being able to go for a run, but what’s harder to realize is that once it becomes a physical impossibility, those are the things that are missed the most.

Redmond watched other girls run and had to adapt to the idea that although she was a strong runner, this was now out of the picture. She was forced to give up a piece of herself. And cancer was the sole culprit, thriving on the unknown and uncontrollable, it is an ominous  dark cloud in our society. But Redmond’s courage and maturity shine through this experience, moving through her treatment with determination and grit.

She’s a strong and hopeful girl who isn’t stuck in mourning, and has shown a smile throughout a disheartening, and at times, heartbreaking experience. Although this journey will stay with her forever, she has started training again and doing what she loves, despite the limitations she has faced, saying “I have to keep running.”

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