A Team LIVESTRONG Profile: Marathoner Wanda Madden


With the Bank of America Chicago Marathon being only two weeks away, our Team LIVESTRONG runners are getting geared up for the race and a memorable Marathon Weekend. While 26.2 miles is quite the athletic accomplishment, they know that this event is bigger than just that. They will run in honor of those who are fighting and in memory of those they have lost. They will push through to the finish line because they will never give up hope. And we will all cheer them on because we are all in this life and the fight for it together.

wanda1Wanda Madden, one of our rock star Chicago team members and a first time marathoner, says it best: “This marathon is about much more than a race – it’s personal.”

Tell us a little about yourself…
I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, but have spent 28 years in the South.  I lost my husband to colon cancer in 2004. I’ve moved back to the Chicago area this year, and I’m running in the Chicago Marathon on October 13.

Why did you choose to join Team LIVESTRONG for this event?
I started running to challenge myself and to help the cancer community.  My plan was to run that one 5k, but once I crossed the finish line I never stopped. I’m now running my first marathon in my hometown in memory of my husband, and running for Team LIVESTRONG allows me to continue to help the cancer community.  When my husband passed away, we asked for donations to LIVESTRONG in lieu of flowers, so running on Team LIVESTRONG seemed like a perfect fit to tie it all together.  This marathon is about much more than a race – it’s personal.

Name one piece of advice you would give to someone affected by cancer.
A cancer diagnosis affects everyone – not just the patient.  Be positive, be hopeful, try to keep things as normal as possible.  Personally, I would attend every doctor’s appointment and chemo session – when meeting with doctors, keep a journal and take notes.  You think you will remember everything that is said, but you won’t.  Be willing to accept help from others.

What does LIVESTRONG mean to you?  
The first four words that come to mind are FIGHT, HOPE, BELIEVE, and COURAGE.

*** We’re so proud of ALL our runners heading into Chicago – THANK YOU! And if you’re interested in participating in any of our many Team LIVESTRONG events in the future, be sure to check out www.teamlivestrong.org


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