It Started with a Toothache


Kristy Fasbinder of Chicago was training for the 2008 Chicago Marathon. She was going out for a new PR, it being her third marathon. A severe toothache was bothering her a few weeks before the race, so she went to have things checked out. She ended up going through a series of root canals and oral surgeries leading up to the race. She ran Chicago as planned, though didn?t do as well as she?d hoped.


Two days after the marathon, while going to get her medal engraved, she got a call from her oral surgeon that would change her life. A tissue sample taken during a checkup had shown the presence of non-Hodgkin?s lymphoma.

Kristy underwent six rounds of chemotherapy from November 2008 to March 2009, after which she was declared to be in remission. With a new-found zeal for life and giving back, Kristy has joined Team LIVESTRONG in her return to marathoning at the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10.

What helped you get through your own treatment?

The support you get from other people ? especially the support from other survivors ? is absolutely critical, especially to your mental well being. I think that?s what LIVESTRONG is all about: reaching out to those that need the help most.

Why did you join Team LIVESTRONG?

When I was first diagnosed, a friend who was going through treatment for leukemia passed onto me a copy of ?It?s Not About The Bike? as well as a LIVESTRONG Guidebook. I was greatly inspired by Lance?s story and more determined than ever to overcome my diagnosis.

After you?ve been through a lot of pain it?s easy to opt out of more; you don?t want to sign up for any more physical pain than you?ve already been through. However, I know that other people go through more so I?ve made the commitment to them and myself to run the Chicago Marathon with Team LIVESTRONG.

What is your goal in the Chicago Marathon this year?

I still don?t feel back to full strength, which is frustrating, but I?m driven to finish because I know how much worse things could be. After what I?ve been through I want to help those that need it most, and I think running with Team LIVESTRONG is my way of helping and inspiring them. What started with a toothache is now my driving force to cross the line in honor of those battling cancer.


If you?d like to join Kristy and the rest of Team LIVESTRONG on 10/10/10 at the Chicago Marathon we still have spots available for those with their own entry. Join us at


  1. i was diagnosed with non hodgkens lymphoma and i had several masses taken from my neck and thyroid, went through 66 hours of chemo, lost insurance and never had radiation,, was in remmission, but now i have other lumps, thanks , it gave me something to look in to, i have had really bad teeth for years and the chemo has made them even worse, god bless , but i did sign up with my local clinic to see if cancer is coming back ,, steve pingitore

  2. Pam says:

    Your bravery abounds…. My motto has always been Nike’s motto: JUST DO IT and you have. Continued good thoughts to you…. RUNSTRONG!

  3. Warren says:

    Congratulations Kristy on being in remission.Kristy, after having cancer I was worried about my teeth because I know chemo can do bad stuff and thankfully I was okay. I was suprised but I am going to look at the statistics of what chemo can due to after cancer treamtent.
    As a cancer survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for almost four years, I still remember being diagnosed as yesterday. It was February 15, 2006 on a Wednesday and I was 21 years old at the time. What a year it was? At the time of my diagnosis, I only thought I had it my neck, but then discovered in my pelvis, chest and abdomen. I had 12 chemotherapy treatments, 2 bone marrow aspirations and everything in between. I wear the Livestrong bracelet for people who have been afflicted of cancer. Along the last few years, my Dad was afflicted with Prostate Cancer. He is now in remission and I have lost a few dear friends of this horrific disease. Please show our support.

  4. Nicholas Corbin says:

    congrats! Sounds like another tough person. My father was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer 2 years ago and they originally thought they could remove it but then decided that they did not think he would make it so performed chemo and radiation and found that that did not work. He was headed towards passing away in January and has battled and fought hard and is still fighting today. He doesn’t speak much but his words when we see him seem to always be very important and still reflect his tough and lovely personality.

  5. Davey Moyers says:

    God Bless you Kristy. Keep smiling that beautiful smile..Oh yea, kick some butt in Chicago in October.
    I’ll be silently pulling for you with prayer and the hopes for a PR.

  6. Joe Fazzini says:

    Kristy and Friends,
    I too feel for you. I was traing for Indy 500 mini marathon two years ago. While going for a standard six miler 30 days before the run as luck would have it I step in a hole and broke and ankle (in Mexico). Once back in the US, my doc confirmed a break and took blood since I haven’t done so for two years. As luck would run out the test show elavated PSA’s at 49,I’m a 1%er, additionial tests confirmed cancer. Two years later, 52 now, radical surgery, 39 radiation treatments and two rounds of intense meds, wow. I am grateful for a ankle breaks, mini marathons and the Indiana University Medical Center, Simon Cancer Center.

    Your friend, Joe F.

  7. Augen lasern says:

    Gratulations man, radio streamabout discussed about your blog on 11 pm. Header was your blog post LIVESTRONG Blog » Blog Archive » It Started with a Toothache. Well work. bye-bye

  8. Lisa Price says:

    My mom was diagnosed with NH Lymphoma in Jan 2009, she was 62 years old at the time and had been healthy, never spending a day in a hospital ever. Her regular physician continued to treat the pain in her legs as an allergic reaction for 2 months before my sister and I convinced her to go to another doctor. Her new family doctor immediately sent her to a specialist who diagnosed her cancer. My mom was a fighter, she went through 8 cycles of CHOP chemotherapy and continued working, on her feet, as a cook throughout her treatment. When her treatment was finished, she only remained in remission for 2 months before the swelling began again. She was referred to the best cancer hospital in the country, MD Anderson. She was enrolled in several clinical trials; however, her battle with cancer ended July 10, 2010. My mom lost her courageous battle. During her battle, she always wore a yellow LIVESTRONG armband and a green Lymphoma band. And it was not until her final days in hospice care that they were removed. I had to cut them from her wrist because her arms were swollen and I was afraid they were hurting her. My mom was a fighter. I miss her every day. Watching her fight cancer was inspirational. Now I will focus on helping my father battle throat cancer with the same heart as my mom. He too wears the LIVESTRONG armband, has been watching Lance Armstrong throughout the Tour De France, all the time mourning the loss of my mom.

  9. Paulene west says:

    While I have never Battled Cancer I have supported fundraising efforts for several organizations because of friends and family that have struggled with the disease and some have sadly lost thier battle. Through my own Illness 1.5 years ago it’s a long road to recovery and the one message that I want people to hear is “if you notice anyting with your body out of the norm go have it checked” I put my head in the sand and said Oh I’m not sick and in fact I was very sick! It’s taken 1.5 years to get back to where I was before surgery in terms of energy. Message number 2 Never Ever Give up! No matter what you are facing keep going! As my MD said when I complained about stamina – just keep going and moving. Never Ever Give up was chalked on the roads of France for this year’s tour. That’s the message we should all take away – Just like Lance and Just like Kristy who never did or will give up! your stories are an inspiraton to all that read them.

  10. BurneHill says:

    Very proud of you and all the other survivors out there…Helps me to keep my life in order now that I’m in my own O.T. in life as well. Support equals Survial. God Speed. Burne

  11. Theresa says:

    Good luck Kristy! You are strong and I wish you well as you continue to livestrong and stay ahead of the cancer.

    I too was diagnosed with a form of NHL last June.

    I will be in Chicago running the full (well, running half and walking the last half!)

    Hope to meet you there,

    Theresa from Winnipeg, CANADA

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