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Local runner shows strength of spirit while battling cancer

by Carolyn Binder

If you need a feel good story to start your weekend, keep reading.

In late April while I was preparing coverage for the 2013 Kalamazoo Marathon   the story of Jayni Angeli  came across my desk. At 26 years old, an otherwise healthy young woman was diagnosed with nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma which is a cancer of the lymph nodes that affects young people. With an attitude as unique as her diagnosis, Angeli immediately decided to take matters into her own hands.

In the midst of beginning bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments, Jayni trained for the 5k event of the Kalamazoo Marathon, a race she competed in a month after her diagnosis. We tracked her progress in the week leading up to the race as she shaved her head in the company of close friends without a second thought.

Her unwavering determination to overcome the obstacle in front of her has been a humbling experience to watch. It’s really easy to wake up with an attitude that just because you spilled your morning coffee or locked your keys in your car that your whole day is shot. Waking up everyday fighting cancer is a whole other level, and waking up with a positive attitude would be nearly impossible for most of us. During my interview with Jayni, I promised her we would continue to follow her story to the end. Happily this story has a good ending as today I learned that Jayni is to undergo her final chemotherapy treatment. 

Another race won, another obstacle cleared. Congratulations Jayni! Jayni has chronicled her journey with cancer on YouTube, click here to watch her videos.

Carolyn Binder is a sports anchor for 1660 The Fan  and WKZO  in Kalamazoo. Follow Carolyn on Twitter