Going the Distance

In August 2013, Julie’s eye began to twitch. Her mother, Melissa, knew something could be terribly wrong. Julie’s eye doctor soon confirmed Melissa’s fear: Julie had a brain tumor called an optic glioma.

Worried about the looming possibility of a very risky brain surgery, Melissa sought out other options. The family was soon referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® for Julie’s treatment and care. At St. Jude, Julie underwent chemotherapy as part of her initial course of treatment.

Runners who fundraise for St. Jude while training for their race are called St. Jude Heroes. Heroes are helping kids, like Julie, who, after a long break from chemotherapy, is undergoing treatment once again at St. Jude, with additional support from a hospital close to home. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Julie’s sister Gabby is by her side every step of the way. “My girls inspire me to be the very best person I can possibly be, every day,” said Melissa, who will be running as a St. Jude Hero in this year’s GEICO Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & 1/2.


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