Diamond View teacher helps cause, runs in marathon
Diamond View School teacher Diana Bailey recently ran her first marathon in honor of three surviving cancer patients. Bailey competed in the 19th Annual California International Marathon in December, finishing 54th out of 218 runners in the 25-to-29 year old division. She crossed the finish line with a time of 4:01.58.
The race, which served as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, started in Folsom and ended in the State Capital.
"It was a lot of fun, training and running in the marathon," Bailey said. "It felt good to give something to those who need it. I'd like to do it again sometime."
Bailey raised $1,700 for organizations searching for a cure for lymphoma and leukemia. She ran in honor of three cancer survivors:
Lassen High School graduate Gary Smith, who is in remission after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease. Smith learned he had cancer at 18 and is now 27 years old.
Melissa Nehls was diagnosed with leukemia at 7 and is now 15 years old.
Jordyn Simpson of Red Rock, Nev. The four year old was diagnosed with cancer a year ago.
Bailey endured rain and wind to finish the race. The weather forced many top runners from other countries to drop out, she said.
Bailey was a member of Team in Training - endurance-training program for runners, walkers, cyclists and triathletes to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. TNT was designed to raise money to support the society's mission of finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease and myeloma.
An estimated 106,700 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma and approximately 60,400 will die this year. Leukemia is the nation's leading killer of children younger than 15 years old. Leukemia and lymphoma are the leading fatal diseases in men and women younger than 35 years old.
In 2000, TNT raised more than $72 million for cancer research.
Other locals who ran in the marathon and raised money were former Lassen High School graduates Paul Smith Pia Ripatti, and couple Paul and Erin Sprague.