Stories of Hope

Lacey, WA 
• 2011 SOS Participant

I am not running in the SOS this year. However, I ran the 2011 SOS, and we lost my mother this past year to Pancreatic Cancer, so I am always thinking about her. So I just wanted to say thank you to all of the supporters of this great cause. I love you mom, you are the greatest.


Elgin, OK • SOS Participant

This will be my fourth year running in Spirit of Survival. I always knew that the money raised went right back to help here in Southwest Oklahoma, this past May my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and I got to see how important it is to have a Cancer Center here in Lawton. They are an amazing & caring staff there. This year I will be running for my dad.


Lawton, OK • 2013 SOS Participant

I was named for my grandmother who I never had the joy of meeting, never had the joy of hugging, but will always have the joy of carrying on her name.  She passed away from colon cancer when my mother was just a girl.  I know she was beautiful because of her pictures and I know she was full of love from the stories I've heard of her. 

When my sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 19 I had never been more scared in my life.  I remember crying and crying when they shaved her head bald and praying and praying that she make it through.  Even through the threat of never being able to have children, my sister is a cancer survivor of over 10 years with the 2 most beautiful children I know.  I am running the SOS in memory of my grandmother and in honor of my sister.  I am running for a cure so no one has to know their grandmother only through pictures and fear for the life of their sister.  I am running for the millions affected by this terrible disease through lost loved ones or battling themselves.  


Wichita Falls, TX • 2013 SOS Participant

I lost my dad to Prostate Cancer 16 years ago.  Today, my mom is battling Pancreatic Cancer.  She is fighting so hard and taking a very aggressive chemo treatment trying to win this battle.  I heard about SOS and decided we (my brother, son, niece and myself) should run to honor our hero mother/grandmother's fight.  She won't be able to attend the race since she is getting her 11th treatment right this minute however we will run to show her strength and courage.  My niece and I are running our first quarter and my brother and son are running their first half.  My daughter attends college in Georgia and since she can't be with us at SOS she will run where she's at to honor her grandmother.  I hope next year to sponsor all my great nephew and nieces in the Superhero Kids Marathon! Never give up!!


Lawton, Oklahoma
 • 2013 SOS Training & Event Participant

When I started this journey 11 weeks ago, I wanted to run for my best friend Mary who lost her battle with liver cancer in 2009. I found out how much she meant to me when I had to struggle on without her. She was my rock and the best friend anyone could ask for. I run so that we won't lose angels like Mary. I struggle everyday without my best friend and I don't want anybody to have to feel the pain I do every day. I love you and miss you Mary. I'm glad she helped me through my cancer in 1996, and I am so disappointed that I couldn't help Mary through hers. That is why I run, not for me, but for angels like Mary.


Lawton, Oklahoma
 • 2013 SOS Participant

This will be my first time doing the SOS 5K. My Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma in May of this year. I will be doing this for him!! I love him more than words could ever say! My six year old will be doing the Kids Marathon for him as well. He is fighting so hard everyday! This is for you DADDY!! We love you so much! We have hope that you are going to beat this!


Lawton, Oklahoma • 2013 SOS Participant

When I was 10 I lost my dad to cancer. It was very hard for me growing up. I also had an aunt recently who was diagnoised with ovarian cancer which she beat. I am so proud of her. So I have one story of devastation and one of success. Let's have more stories of success. We can beat this thing!


Elk City, Oklahoma 
• 2013 SOS Participant

Over the years I have lost love ones to cancer but nothing like this year! May 9 I lost a friend who was like a sister to me she was strong and fought a hard battle, May 15 I lost my beautiful Mom who i miss so much it hurts she fought cancer for a year and three months! While my Mom was dying in the hospital her brother was being diagnosed with cancer, July 4 I lost my uncle on my Dads side of the family . A friend of mine lost her Mom  with cancer a little over a year ago  and now she recently lost her Dad to cancer also!  You never know when it going to be you, or your love ones!  We need to find a cure! I hate cancer!  I will walk in memory for all my loved ones and the ones who are fighting to be a survivor and win the battle against cancer!

Lindsay, Oklahoma  SOS Participant

Cancer is a horrible. Eight years ago in September I watched my 34 year old brother die of bladder cancer. Cancer also took my mother last November. That both fought very hard. I ran the spirit of survival last year in memory of my brother and in honor of my mother. This year I will run in their memory. I will run for those who cannot in hope that a cure will be found soon.

Duncan, Oklahoma  SOS Participant

Most of us have been touched by cancer. No one is immune. Cancer does not discriminate! I've lost close friends to it & have people close to me who have survived. All of it stinks! Unfortunately, the most traumatic one happened this year. Lung cancer took my Mom April 3, 2013 after a fairly short, but very ugly battle. No one should have to endure what she did & this fight is for her!

Walters, Oklahoma  2013 SOS Participant

I have worked for CCSWOK for almost a year and in April my uncle was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer after suffering for almost 6 months before finding out. He lasted a little over a month before the good Lord called him home. This year will be my first time to be running the the Spirit of Survival. I will be running the 5K in honor for him, the patients and families that I have met.

Lawton, Oklahoma 2012 SOS Participant

Two years ago, my beloved uncle suffered terribly and within three months he was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndrome. I am half the world apart from home, and at that moment I could not do much to help out my family... not that I had a cure, but I could have comforted and stayed beside my uncle until he took his last breath. I ran 5K last year, and I want to push it to quarter marathon this time in his honor.

Lawton, Oklahoma 2012 SOS Participant

This past Thanksgiving, one of my best friends from high school, Robert, suffered a seizure right after the Thanksgiving meal in front of his family. The cause was determined to be a tumor the size of a "Small Sweet Potato" growing in his brain.

Surgery was only able to remove about 30% of the tumor because it grew "Around" the normal brain tissue. The tumor wiggles and winds its way around the normal brain mass according to Robert's physician.

Robert just had his 3rd quartely post -op MRI and things are "Stable." The tumor was slow growing, and his MD says it will be slow-shrinking as well. Robert is still working and taking anti-seizure meds that make him tired.

I recall a summer in the late 70's, when Bob and I spent a great deal of time at the hospital watching this insidious disease claim his fathers life.

Bob, this one is for you, buddy!

Cache, Oklahoma 2012 SOS Participant

I started running the Spirit of Survival several years ago in honor of my nephew, Nathen. He was diagnosed at 23 months old with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, and has been fighting for the past 5 1/2 years. He is my inspiration along with the many other family and friends that I have recognized on the back of my cancer shirt with the color of cancer they are fighting or have WON! My finishing place in the races that I've run doesn't matter to me. The ones that I run for are my HEROES!

Lawton, Oklahoma 2012 SOS Participant

This will be our first time doing the walk and we are doing it for my husband who is a stage IV renal cell cancer survivor. He was diagnosed while deployed in Iraq. Faith, determination and the will to live gave him hope. He is our superhero!

Lawton, Oklahoma 2012 SOS Participant

This will be my first 5K. I lost my grandmother to cancer last December and have been watching a good friend fight it for several years now. She just learned that it is back and today she wrote, "When I was growing up, I use to hear people talk about working for many years making money and then one day retire. Then go on trips, never having to get up unless you want to and have fun. I never heard about getting sick with cancer and spending every day going to different doctors, having blood taken, test taking, drinking malt, being put in a machine taking more pictures to see if you have more cancer. I sure don't call this fun. My dream has taken a different road." I wish we lived in a world where cancer didn't exist and that is why I have chosen to run this year and from now on until we have a cure.

Lawton, Oklahoma SOS Participant

I walked my first 5K in 2011 after I had lost 170 lbs on Weight Watchers. God was not done with me yet. In March 2012 I heard the words, "You have Uterine Cancer". My new journey started that day with surgery and 28 radiation treatments. I can now say I am Cancer free.

I will do the SOS this year for all my brothers and sisters that will make the same journey I had to live through. I had Cancer but Cancer will never have me.

Lawton, Oklahoma SOS Participant

I started running the Spirit of Survival many years ago in support of my 2 year old nephew, Nathen.  He was diagnosed with stage IV Neuroblastoma at 23 months old, prior to that he was a healthy and happy little boy!  He will be 7 in August and has fought this horrible disease for five years. Needless to say I HATE CANCER!  I will continue to support cancer research since it has affected several other members of my family and friends!  I run in honor of these HEROES!

Lawton, Oklahoma 2011 Participant

My mother Jackye is a 2x survivor of cancer. I run in honor of the hero she is to me. I also run for the families of those who have lost loved ones to cancer. One of my friends was taken from this earth way too soon and left behind a beautiful daughter. I run for the daughter so that she may find her way through life and be successful.

I run in memory of my many grandparents who were taken too soon from this life from cancer. I hate cancer.

This race has also become a kind of family tradition. My brother-in-law and sister usually come down from Dallas for the race. It brings us together for one fun day of activity. It is always a fun place to be.

Cache, Oklahoma 2011 Participant

A friend talked me into doing the 5k so I entered in memory of my Mom, and these words started flowing from my mind:

Today we run for those who have strength in spirit but are weak in their body.
Today we run for those who think they're fighting this battle alone for we are many who stand beside them to show support.
Today we run in memory of those who lost their body but their spirit lives on encouraging every to love life every moment.
Today we run for those who have more courage than they know to fight the cancer that wants to break their spirit.
Today I run in memory of my Mother who's spirit is within me always encourages me to stay strong in crisis so that I may help others.
And she whispers in my ear that she loves and that I'm never alone.

Walters, Oklahoma

I have been training for the 5K over the past few months. I run in support of my mother who is a cancer survivor, in remembrance of my grandparents who lost their battles with cancer, and for my family that researchers might find a cure before the disease affects them.

We know so many in our community that have been affected by cancer and I am proud to be part of a wonderful event that helps us fight back!

Ft. Sill, Oklahoma

First and foremost I would like to say that this is my first mini-marathon ever. I am 34 years old. I just returned from a 12 month deployment from the middle east. I am a 9 month tobacco free survivor. I smoked cigarettes for 19 1/2 years. I quit cold turkey. So I would have to say I might have been a cancer survivor. However, it was never diagnosed as having cancer though. I am also running for my grandfather who we lost over 25 years ago, at the rightful age of 51 years of age, because of the nicotine monster, it effected his pancreas and stomach.

Also, my uncle Lou just passed right before we came back from Afghanistan of Bone cancer. Also, my wife is also doing the 5K race. We just decided to do this for the sake of living healthier and being physically active. Last week I ran 6 miles, in which was the longest I have ever ran, even being in the Army. Thanks for giving me a chance to give back to my family and my self.

Elgin, Oklahoma

I ran 26.2 miles in 6hrs 56 minutes, 2 years ago, during the Spirit of Survival Marathon to help raise money for free patient transportation to any Cancer Center of Southwest Oklahoma location. Today we have four vehicles in Lawton, Duncan and Altus that provide that free ride to any cancer patient that needs it to any Cancer Center of Southwest Oklahoma location, no questions asked. Over 30 volunteer drivers in all three locations make sure those patients arrive safely. This event is about people coming togther to help their neighbors. I'm proud to be a part of this kind of community event, and proud to have a community to support us. I ran because I can...and for all those people who are undergoing treatment and can't. If I can do it, anyone can. Never give up.

Cache, Oklahoma

I walk for the memory of my dad who has battled and lost his life through lung cancer 17 years ago. I'm also walking for all my aunties, uncles, cousins, friends and relatives who lost their lives to cancer. I have one aunty I know that survived breast cancer and is living happily with her family, and I'm also walking for my dear older sister who's got breast cancer and is fighting every are such a strong person sis and our faith, love, hope and prayers haven't stopped. I walk for all those around the world who lost their lives and to those who survived and to those that are still going through this right now and not giving up hope. My wish is that someday there will a 100% cure for any kind of cancer. Keep on fighting and keep on believing.

Lori Cummins,
Lawton, Oklahoma Race Director

To me, the most important reason to walk or run is to raise money for clinical trials that are being conducted at the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma which benefit our own friends and neighbors right here at home, offering hope for a cancer cure.  The results of our clinical trials also benefit cancer research through our participation in national and international clinical trials.  I have personally had three very close friends who were not only diagnosed with rare and aggressive cancers this year, but who were enrolled in clinical trials at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center and all are now Cancer Free!  That’s the best reason I can think of for participating.  I’d run a million miles to save their lives!  They are worth it!!!

The second reason is to walk in memory or in honor of cancer patients and their families who have suffered the battle against cancer.  You can never do enough when someone is faced with this disease, but the least we can do is stand beside our loved ones and show them our support and love.

The last reason is for our own health, so we can be healthy and decrease our own chances of not only cancer, but many other debilitating and preventable chronic illnesses.   Not all cancers can be prevented, but if we are active and healthy, our chances of acquiring any kind of cancer are decreased by 67%!  Without our health, our quality of life significantly diminishes.  This is something everyone should do, for themselves and those they love.  We need to be there for our children and grandchildren, and be good role models for our kids.

Lawton, Oklahoma • 2010 Participant

I am a survivor! I walk to show my support for those who are going through cancer right now. My hope is that someday cancer will be nothing more than a distant memory.

Sulphur, Oklahoma • 2010 Participant

My husband is a 4-year (stage 5) colon cancer survivor!

Lawton, Oklahoma • 2010 Participant

I've been with the race for the past 4 years and have been inspired and touched by all the participants' stories of survival and hope! It's for all those who've touched my heart that I run!