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    Unstoppable: Miles Ran for Kentucky National Guard Soldier

    Unstoppable: Miles Ran For Kentucky Soldier

    Photo By Senior Airman Jamie Titus | Pedro Ochoa of the Alaska National Guard runs in the Lincoln National Guard Marathon,...... read more read more

    Air and Army National Guard marathon runners from 45 states and two territories showed their support for a fellow runner during the 41st Annual Lincoln National Guard Marathon on May 6 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
    The Kentucky Army National Guard marathon team sold shirts to support Sgt. Angela Sullivan, a combat medic with the Kentucky Army National Guard’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 201st Engineer Battalion.
    In February, Sullivan lost her left leg to osteosarcoma, a common type of cancer that begins in the bones. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and hopes to be fully healed and running the Lincoln National Guard Marathon again by 2019.
    In order to show support and raise money for Sullivan’s medical treatments, Maj. Varinka Ensminger, Kentucky National Guard Medical Detachment, and Sgt. 1st Class Amy Parker, a human resources specialist with the 149th Brigade Support Battalion, began selling t-shirts and tank tops which read: “Hardcore #MilesForA” to members of each state’s National Guard marathon team and anyone else who wanted to support Sullivan. Some team members wore the shirts during the Lincoln National Guard Marathon, while others took photos with them to send on to Sullivan, who was resting at home. The money raised from the shirts will go to Sullivan and her family to help pay for medical bills, traveling expenses and any other costs they may have.
    “I wanted to make sure she can have what she needs, and we’re going to do what we can,” said Parker.
    Before being diagnosed with cancer, Sullivan was part of the Kentucky National Guard marathon team for three years. Parker said Sullivan was training for this year’s marathon when she started having pain in her left thigh. Originally thinking it was just overtraining, she iced it and did physical therapy. When the pain continued, she went to see a doctor, who found Sullivan had an inconclusive mass in her left thigh above the femur.
    While on crutches, Sullivan got a hairline fracture in her femur. Later, as she was getting an X-ray, her femur broke in half, forcing doctors to amputate her left leg in February. At that time they also learned the cancer had reached her lungs and chest.
    But the cancer and the amputation haven’t stopped Sullivan from staying in shape and working toward her goal to be running again by 2019.
    “She’s very determined, very positive attitude, she doesn’t let the cancer beat her,” said Parker. “She’s got the will to do it, so she will do it.”
    Parker said that there has been a lot of support for Sullivan. The majority of the marathon teams took photos with the shirts and those photos were put together for a video that was sent to Sullivan. Parker said Sullivan will be taking that video with her while she goes through chemotherapy as inspiration.
    Ensminger, who was also instrumental in starting the fundraiser, was excited to see other runners supporting her friend.
    “Probably the coolest thing was that some people ran in her shirts today,” said Ensminger. “So when I saw them I was like ‘Yes! Oh my God, this is awesome!’”
    Although Sullivan was not in Lincoln for the marathon this year, she was there in spirit with the Kentucky National Guard team.
    “This motivates her,” said Ensminger. “The last mile is always the hardest mile, so the last mile and last (.2 miles) was for her.”
    Parker said the Kentucky National Guard family is fully supportive of Sullivan and will do whatever it takes to help her beat cancer.
    So far, the Kentucky National Guard marathon team was able to raise more than $1,000 for Sullivan.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.06.2018
    Date Posted: 05.10.2018 10:08
    Story ID: 276510
    Location: LINCOLN, NE, US 

    Web Views: 315
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    Unstoppable: Miles Ran for Kentucky National Guard Soldier