SPOKANE, Wash. -- A Spokane native who fought breast cancer and won just finished her 275th marathon.
Carol Dellinger said she had many reasons to run. It all started 24 years ago when a friend wanted to train for a marathon.
“I just decided if she could do it, I could do it. Because we were pretty competitive,” said Dellinger.
The competition drove her through more than 200 marathons until a routine mammogram in 2000 showed she had Stage 2 breast cancer. She said the diagnosis lit a fire like she had never felt before.
“I had no idea when I woke up that morning that I’d be diagnosed with breast cancer. And I just dug deep to get through it,” said Dellinger.
She went through a mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy. Nine months later, she was back to running. Dellinger then began to spread the word about the importance of early detection and started inspiring everyone around her.
“Before I knew it, I was being sought after to speak to professional teams, college teams,” said Dellinger.
Her public speaking started to take her around the country.
“Everybody I come into contact with, I take the time to just stop and talk to them. And it’s just made me realize that there’s more to life out there than just ourselves. It’s all about inspiring others,’ said Dellinger.
She is training for her 276th marathon and her new goal is to make it to 500.