Inspiring Latina of the Week: Marathon Runner Stefanie Frances

Why did you start running in the Nike marathon?

When The Nike Marathon was first introduced in 2003 as an event to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I didn’t hesitate to sign up and train with the team for this race. I wanted the “Tiffany necklace” at the finish and because I was such a Nike fan (all my running attire was Nike) I had to run this race.

The first marathon was AWESOME! The course was hard and I loved the challenge. I had such a great time running up and down the hills of San Francisco. I remember at mile 15, running up a hill, a TNT participant from another LLS chapter told me that 5 years prior she had leukemia and that day she was cancer free! We hugged and I was in tears. I was energized by her words and courage. I crossed the finish line jumping up and down celebrating what we, as a team, had accomplished to help cancer patients live longer healthier lives.

Why have you continued?

I have continued to run the Nike Marathon because it is a special race for me. I now have 8 grandchildren and I am giving each of them one of my finishing necklaces. I want them to be proud of my accomplishments. I would like them to know how important it is to make a commitment and give 110 percent. With the support of my friends and family, I’ve raised over $100k for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. These funds give patients the opportunity to live longer and enjoy their life passions. I would like my grandchildren to ALWAYS give and bless others.

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Samantha Leal, Deputy Editor

Sam edits and oversees all site content with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. When she's not working, you can find her watching way too many YouTube videos and reading (YA novels, mostly). Follow her on Twitter @samanthajoleal.

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