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An amazing feat for an amazing woman

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The wife of a former Mammoth Spring resident will try to complete an amazing feat on Jan. 17, 2010. She will run with Team in Training sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the P.F. Chang's Rock n' Roll Marathon, which is 26.2 miles long, in Phoenix, Ariz. Her name is Valerie Flynn, 41, wife of Melvin Flynn, who both now live in Anchorage, Alaska.

"You may think I've lost my mind trying to accomplish such a feat at the age of 41, but let me tell you my story and you will know why I am committed to ding this and why I need (everyone's) help," Flynn said.

When she was 19, she was diagnosed with cancer. "When I was 19, I thought I was invincible," she said.

Flynn was stationed with the Army in Germany and enjoyed running through the small towns and countryside around Frankfurt.

"In the fall of 1987, I noticed a lump above my left clavicle. I was in the best shape of my life and the healthiest," Flynn said. "I didn't feel bad, but my boss insisted that I get it checked out. A few months later , I found myself at Walter Reed Army Hospital with the diagnosis of stage 3B Hodgkins' Lymphoma. It was very scary to learn at the age of 19 that (I had) cancer and that it was already in advanced stage.

"As soon as they staged my disease, they began aggressive treatment right away because I was young and in good health otherwise. I had five months of chemotherapy. I lost my hair and suffered all the typical side effects of (chemo) at that time. It was defiantly the worst experience of my life. I have memories of this time in my life that will never diminish or go away even though today I am considered cured and healthy."

Flynn is running to fight cancer for others who have been diagnosed. "I want to be part of an organization that raises money to find ways to help others who receive the diagnosis of cancer. The money raised will help find a cure so no one else ever has to be told that they or someone they love has cancer," Flynn said. "I am also going to run because I can. There were days when I was going through my treatments that I snuggled in bed under numerous covers because my body was so weak and cold that I didn't feel like getting up, let alone run or go for a walk. There are people this very day who don't feel like getting out of bed or can't because of what cancer has done to their bodies. I want to run for these people."

Flynn has a goal of $5,000 to donate to LLS. All donations are tax deductible. Her first deadline is Nov. 1, at which time she must have raised at least 25 percent of the $5,000 needed.

Donations can be sent to 6650 Tiffany Terrace, Anchorage, Alaska 99507, or people can donate online at Flynn's Web site at http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/pfcha....

Those who want more information can go to the LLS Web site at http://www.lls.org/hm lls.



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