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Distance Persistence

Last year Jacky Hunt-Broersma, an amputee ultrarunner from North Carolina, set a 100-mile record.

She remembers that it hurt to the touch. Something had grown back over the site of a surgically removed scar tissue buildup on her leg. At first it was simply tender, then a golf ball-sized growth emerged, seemingly overnight, and the insidious discomfort grew to be unbearable. Jacky Hunt-Broersma scheduled a follow-up visit to see the same doctor who initially told her the pain was merely more scar tissue forming.

“I went in and was like ‘I’m not sure, but I don’t think this is scar tissue any more,’ and he just looked at my leg and went pale,” recalled Hunt-Broersma, 19 years later. “He scheduled me in to see a specialist and scheduled a biopsy.”

Everything moved quickly from there. The biopsy revealed the spot to be Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, especially since she was only 25 years old at the time. Within a week of the biopsy, her leg was amputated to prevent the cancer from spreading.

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