Sparta woman to run 4,000 miles to raise funds for young adults with cancer

From San Francisco to Baltimore in 49 days


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  • Claire Romine flanked by her parents Photos provided by the Romine family




  • Claire with her mother, Kathy Romine, who beat breast cancer




  • Claire at her graduation from the University of Delaware




By Laurie Gordon

— In November, 2012, Claire Romine was a senior at Sparta High School. One day, her mother, Kathy Romine, told her that she had breast cancer, and Romne's life changed.

“When my mother was diagnosed it would have been so easy for me to be upset all of the time but instead we made this even as positive as it could be,” Romine said. “My whole family came together and were even closer during this time. Our friends also came together to support our family and it made me realize how lucky I am to have grown up in such a wonderful town. The strength that my mother had (and still has) motivates me to be a better person everyday knowing that my strongest role model will be able to overcome any challenge.”

So what did Romaine do? She staged a fundraiser. Called the Colors of Cancer 5K Run, she hosted the event and donated the money to the American Cancer Society.

“My family and I organized a 5k race from the Sparta High School track around Station Park and back," she said. "With this event I was able to raise about $3,000 to be donated to the American Cancer Society.”

Her mother beat the cancer, but seeing all that she had seen her mother go through had changed Romine's life.

After graduating from Sparta High, she attended the University of Delaware whee she earned her undergraduate degree from August 2013 to May 2017. She majored in Exercise Science with minors in both Strength and Conditioning and Coaching Science. During the Summer of 2015, Romine was able to work with a camp called Camp Sunrise that took place in Maryland.

“This camp is a one-week sleep away camp for those children who have gone through treatment or are currently going through treatment. This one week lets them forget about all of the doctors appointments and everything else going on at home and lets them just be kids. They are able to go swimming, attend campfires, and participate in many fun activities for the week. It is so rewarding to be able to help these kids and learn about how strong and inspiring they are even though they are going through so much.”

Working at the camp got her thinking. She wanted to be a part of helping young people with cancer.

“I set my course on going to graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise and Physiology to work with Oncology patients who are fighting a battle that nobody deserves and be able to make their day just a little bit better,” Romine said.

Underscoring her dedication to help those with cancer, this summer, Romine is going to embark on quite an adventure. She applied for and was accepted to participate in the 4k for Cancer. Procedes from this event benefit The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

“When I saw one of their posts I decided to do more research and learned that this event was exactly what I was looking for," she said. "I wanted to help more people affected by cancer and help them realize how strong they are and that they will beat this horrible disease. I knew that this 49- day event would be perfect to combine my love for running as well as working with people so that no young adult has to fight alone.”

Romine will be running six to 16 miles a day with several rest days thrown in and going from San Francisco to Baltimore over the course of the 49 days.The run begins on Saturday June 17th, 2018 in San Francisco, California and ends on Saturday August 4th, 2018 at Federal Hill in Baltimore, MD.

“It is a 49 day journey that we will travel from coast to coast,” Romine said. “The 4k for Cancer program has supplied all runners with a training program so that no runner gets overuse injuries. We will start out with lighter shorter runs and work out way up to longer runs with the event approaching. I believe the relay style format is a great way for those runners who don't think that they would be able to complete 16 miles all at one time. When times get tough during the run it will be much easier to run in 2-3 mile increments and be able to motivate ourselves to get to the finish line.”

“I started running during eighth grade and from there just fell more in love with running every year,” she said. “It has become a way for me to be able to relieve stress from the day and be able to feel unstoppable. When my mother was diagnosed I was so angry at how somebody so healthy and strong could be diagnosed with this horrible disease. It wasn't fair and I never wanted to show my Mom how upset and scared I was. Instead of having that stress continue I decided to go out and run for miles on miles getting my stress out on the road and being able to return with a clear mind and ready to help her with whatever she needed. It tore me down to see my Mom is such a weak state and so tired all of the time. I believe that running made me stronger during this time than I ever thought I could be able made me realize that my mom would be able to beat this and luckily today she is a five-year survivor. I could not be happier to have my mother by my side today and every day.”

Along the run this summer, Romine will be staying at various churches, schools, gyms, YMCAs, rotary clubs and other places that have offered their space for the cause. As well, thre are times she wil be camping.

“I think the places that allow 25-30 young adults to stay there is very generous,” she said. “I am very grateful for anywhere that will allow us to sleep for a night and rest our legs. I will be bringing my 4k for Cancer gear which includes jerseys, T-shirts, sweatshirt and sneakers. We are hoping to have energy bars as well as snacks and meals donated along the way but I will also be bringing trail mix and energy bars with me in times of need. I will also be running with a Camelback Water Pack for those hot days to keep myself hydrated at all times.”

If interested in hosting Romine's team or supplying the team with a meal or snacks they can contact her at <URL destination="http://clairemromine@gmail.com. ">clairemromine@gmail.com.

</URL>To donate to her 4K for Cancer page and the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, visit: <URL destination="http://ulman.z2systems.com/claire-romine. ">ulman.z2systems.com/claire-romine.

</URL>Donations don't have be be huge. Every bit helps. For instance, Five dollars pays for printing costs for a No Way Guidebook entitled, “It Can’t Be! – A Guidebook for Young Adults Facing Cancer.” Seven dollars can purchase 10 puzzle books and $20 can purchase a year magazine subscription for cancer patients before/during treatment. Ten dollars can pay for a blanket to keep a patient warm during treatment, $20 can cover the cost of a Chemo Care Bag, and $50 can pay for 10 “No Way Guidebooks” given free to hospitals for young adult patients.

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults is involved in many ways to help make the lives of young people going through cancer and treatment a little bit easier. “Where YA Meet” is a monthly social get-together for young adults (ages 18 through 39) who are currently in treatment for cancer or post-treatment. Through guest speakers, social activities, and community excursions, “Where YA Meet” aims to connect, engage, and build support and camaraderie among young adults.

Said Romine, “Help me reach my goal so that I can pretend to be Forrest Gump this summer and run from San Francisco to Baltimore in 49 days. Along the way I will be working with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults so that no young adult has to fight cancer alone!”





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