“Cancer Crushers” prepare for Hood to Coast Race

 MEDFORD, Ore. – Providence Health and Services is sponsoring a group of cancer survivors to run in the Hood to Coast Race in August.

It is a 119 mile relay race.

Karen Baas is one of the runners on the team.

For Baas, her journey to become a runner wasn’t as simple as finding the right shoes.

“My son was going to karate 6 days a week, I was Girl Scout leader, I was room mom for both kids, I had three jobs, I had no free time,” Baas said.

Then in 2010, her doctor found a growth on her neck.

“He told me I was going to go in for a CT scan,” Baas said. “I didn’t want to go because I was a single mom, two kids, I had a mortgage payment, car payment, kid’s activities. I didn’t have the time or the extra fiances.”

After being pushed by her doctor to go, Baas got the news that she was dreading.

“Within just a couple of days i had the complete report saying I had Non Hodgkins-Lynphoma,” Baas said.

Knowing she had to be there for her kids, Baas quickly started treatment.

“I did 6 months of chemo, three weeks of radiation, all with the support of my children,” Baas said.

Baas still felt like she should be doing more.

“When you sit there and you are in the infusion center and you’re watching those chemicals drip into your body, it’s an emotional state,” Baas said.

She wanted to find a way to release some of the chemicals, and with the okay from her doctor, she started running.

Now cancer-free with the 100-miler on her calendar, Baas said it is important to make the most out of any situation.

“You  just got to live each moment, like it is the best, don’t look back and just know there is going to be a tomorrow,” Baas said.

The group is accepting donations, all of the money collected goes toward cancer research.

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