Cancer seems to be affecting people I know well lately, and now that extends into the world of sports. Thursday, 2x National Champion in Track & Cross-Country, Johanna Olson passed away after a 12-year battle with brain cancer.
I guess why this strikes me isn’t so much that I knew Johanna well…because I didn’t. She grew up in Wadena, Minnesota next to my hometown. We graduated high school the same year. But everyone knew who she was, because she was one of the best running talents to ever come out of the area. We probably talked a few times over those years, and I’ve followed her blog, where she’s documented her trials fighting her cancer and at the same time, living life.
And in reading people’s tributes to Johanna, I came across this story – runner Gabrielle Anderson, who ran cross-country for my cousin’s high school team in Perham, MN, also battled cancer. She was able to triumph over it, and do some pretty amazing things.
I’m not going to say much more. I encourage you to click on the links and learn a bit more about their stories, because they’re really powerful. They’re the real heroes, like so many who battle cancer courageously and choose to live life in the midst of it…real, authentic people. I find it very ironic because yesterday I also came across this story – the latest on Lance Armstrong.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all who battle cancer, and my hopes that one day we find a cure for this disease…..