Cancer has been the root of many tragedies in Cindy Bedford’s life. Her husband, David Bedford, passed away five years ago from colorectal cancer. Her sister is battling neuroendocrine cancer. She has several friends fighting an aggressive prostate cancer. Another friend was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and another has Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.
And so when the 68-year-old steps to the starting line at the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon on Sunday, July 21 she’ll be doing so with a purpose.
“I am an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. We have to fund cancer research because that is where cures are discovered,” said Bedford. “I’m running Napa to Sonoma ‘In Memory’ of my husband David and I will continue to run and raise funds for cancer research as long as I can to fight this ‘thief’ we call cancer.”
The Dallas resident annually joins hundreds of fellow cancer advocates from across the country in Washington DC each year as a part of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
“I am an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves,” she says. “I have a ‘voice’ through ACS CAN to advocate for all those battling cancer and to affect change by asking for support of our congressmen on Capitol Hill. Research costs money and time and we need to invest both to find cures.”
Bedford’s running backstory is a fascinating one. While she’s always considered herself athletic, the Dallas resident didn’t seriously begin putting foot to pavement until later in life.
“I’ve always been a casual runner, but I had never raced until I was in my late 50s. I heard that there was a race nearby and I went and did it and got first in my age group,” she said. “There aren’t many people my age that run distance. I love getting out and breathing the fresh air and just feeling like you’ve done something good for your body. It’s fun to still be able to do it at this age with no injuries.”
She’s never been to Napa and is looking forward to combining her passion for advocacy with a bucket list travel experience.
“Napa is going to be a fun, sightseeing trip,” Bedford added. “While I’m raising funds for ACS, I’m looking forward to visiting a place that I’ve never been to. I’ve heard that the scenery is going to be beautiful. I love trees and am looking forward to running alongside all of the vineyards.”
Today, almost 1,700 people in the US will die of cancer. That adds up to more than 600,000 Americans dying of cancer this year alone. The mission of the American Cancer Society is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.
The American Cancer Society is a National Featured Charity partner of the 2019 Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon. Athletes running in the event as part of the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program will help fund the Society’s mission to fight cancer from every angle. Proceeds will support programs to fund breakthrough research, and provide free rides to treatment, lodging near hospitals, a live 24/7 helpline, and much more.
All DetermiNation runners will receive a free entry into the half marathon or 5k and will enjoy an unforgettable experience that makes a big impact on the lives of individuals affected by cancer. For more information about how to join the growing American Cancer Society DetermiNation team, visit cancer.org.