Jamie Schipaanboord (29) is not your typical runner. She has survived a battle with lung cancer. In June 2010, she had surgery that removed 70 percent of her right lung, but left her cancer free. To celebrate her cancer-free anniversary, as well as her 30th birthday, also in June, she is running a 10K as part of the American Lung Association in Utah’s Fight For Air Run/Walk on June 4.
Schipaanboord started running in 2008 to improve her health. “I ran a 10K that year, and a 5K a few months later,” she said. “In 2009, I ran 2 half marathons, and my big goal was to run the Top of Utah marathon in September 2010.”
However, that goal was never realized. In the fall of 2009, Schipaanboord noticed that her breathing wasn’t right. While originally thinking it might be exercise-induced asthma, then pneumonia, after three chest x-rays and a CT scan, they discovered it was lung cancer. Never having smoked, she was surprised at this diagnosis.
“I had surgery June 23rd, 2010 having the middle and lower lobes of my right lung removed,” Schipaanboord said. “After the labs came back I found out the cancer was gone. I told myself I would not let this stop me from being active and fit, and I've continued to keep up my exercise routine, despite the lack of lung tissue.”
Family and friends have joined with her in this endeavor as they participate in the Fight For Air Run/Walk. This race provides a challenge for runners of all skill levels, with a half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 1.5-mile walk. The course runs along the base of the Wasatch Mountains, with a panoramic view of the Salt Lake Valley into Sugar House Park. A link to the course map is available on the event website: www.FightForAirRunWalk.org.
“This race is more than just a race for me”, Schipaanboord said. “It's my first race since the surgery, and my first race without cancer. I'm excited and hope to get a few more people to join Team Jamie.”
You can join Team Jamie, or create a team of your own at www.FightForAirRunWalk.org.