Run for the Dream Half Marathon participant uses races to raise money for cancer research
Run for the Dream Half Marathon participant uses races to raise money for cancer research

Briana Kirby first started running as a hobby. But, after losing her mother to colon cancer in August 2012, Kirby is finding that running is allowing her to share her mother's story and raise money for cancer research.

Kirby, an Old Dominion alum, thought that her way of dealing with her mother's illness would be to help other families that were dealing with the same things her family was. Kirby took on the hearty task of running 12 half marathons in 12 months.

"Before 'Still Easier Than Chemo,' Briana and I would just run together just for exercise," said David Kirby, Briana's husband. "But once her mom started getting sick, running became an outlet for her, something she wanted to triumph over."

Now, almost 10 months later, she is preparing for her 10th half marathon, Run for the Dream in Williamsburg on Sunday.

In the past year, the Chesterfield native has dedicated her time to raising money for research at the VCU Massey Cancer Center by doing something she considers to be still easier than chemo — running half marathons.

With every 13.1-mile run, Kirby honors her mother by promoting research that could help save others from the struggles that her family endured.

"I don't even know how many rounds of chemo my mother underwent, but she tried to stay strong throughout," Kirby said. "As someone who did not consider themselves a runner, I figured that no matter how hard it would be to train for a half marathon, it still could not measure up to what she had to go through."

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