ARDMORE, OK - For years the A2A Marathon has been held to benefit the Mercy Cancer Center in Ardmore. With every step toward the finish line lives are saved within those walls.
"I was so scared that I let the Lord basically lead me," said Teresa Rhodes, a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in August of 2012 and faced more than a year of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She said her doctor inspired her to keep going.
"She told me I can do it, we can fight this and I said lets do then, lets go," Rhodes said.
The fifth A2A Marathon will help fuel that fight by raising money for new equipment at the cancer center. Oncologists said the race also raises awareness of cancer and the importance of physical activity in the battle against the disease.
"Outcomes of treatments would be better in patients that are fit because they will have more endurance to get the chemotherapy, to deal with the side affects," said medical oncologist Dr. Darda Bayraktar.
Some marathoners like Travis Singleton have someone to run for.
"He was weak, he met us at the finish line," said Singleton. "It was toward the end of his fight and we lost Tom Stewart last year."
Those who've crossed their own finish line in treatment ring the bell at the Cancer Center and let their appreciation for the race resonate.
"It's overwhelming to think that that many care to give their time and effort to a great cause I mean to help others," said Rhodes. "It really is touching."
The race will be held March 30th and anyone who wants to run can still register online.