The Edmond Sun

Local News

March 5, 2014

Fighting for her children’s future

Jump Start run benefits local brain tumor survivor

EDMOND — Catherine Ledlow always had been an active person, which included finishing nursing school and raising two young children.

So when she was diagnosed last year with a brain tumor, she kicked that activity into high gear toward the battle to save her life.

And now friends and residents are stepping up to help with that fight by participating in the OneHealthyBod Jump Start 5K and 10K run 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Stars and Stripes Park in Oklahoma City.

The run, organized by family friend Steve Clausen of OneHealthyBod, will benefit Ledlow, as she continues her fight against cancer with the support of her husband, Joel, and two children, 3-year-old Elliot and 9-month-old Quinn.

“I was surprised and happy they decided to do that,” Ledlow said of the race. “I didn’t realize how big it would be. This is great.”

Ledlow was diagnosed with a brain tumor on June 24 and had surgery the following week that removed 95 percent of the mass, measuring the size of a baseball.

To treat the remaining 5 percent of her brain tumor located on the speech center of her brain, her treatment team recommended a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.

In September, she began the first of 26 proton therapy treatments at ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City. Proton therapy is an alternative form of radiation that specifically targets the cancerous cells and spares the healthy tissues from unnecessary radiation, resulting in fewer short- and long-term side effects, medical officials with the facility explain.

Ledlow finished treatment at ProCure in October and is currently finishing chemotherapy treatments.

Throughout her proton therapy treatments, Ledlow kept a positive outlook on life.

“I told myself to think like a proton and stay positive, which sums up my whole experience at ProCure,” Ledlow said.

Clausen said the chance to help his friend was an easy decision.

“I have known the Ledlow family for about two years now and she was pregnant with her last baby when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor,” Clausen said. “I was getting ready to do this run and I asked them if there was anything that they needed. I told them the proceeds from this race will go to help them. It gives you a little bit of peace. It’s not always about how much money you make. It is more about helping people that need it, which is the biggest reward.”

Ledlow graduated from nursing school last May and delivered her daughter later that month.

She said she started feeling fatigued and thought it was from the stress of school and delivery.

“I thought I was just tired and these things could happen to any new mother,” Ledlow said.

Ledlow was later convinced by her midwife to seek medical attention and soon learned her diagnosis.

“Afterward (from CAT scan) nobody would really look me in the eye because it was bigger than my fist,” she said. “It was obvious that something was wrong.”

Ledlow was initially told that her survival rate for this type of tumor was six to 10 years. She said that wasn’t an option for her as she was determined to live to see her children grow up.

“That is why we are being really aggressive with (treatment),” Ledlow said. “They are making so many advances now. You don’t know where they will be in even five years from now. They may have a cure by then. To see (my children) through all the things I want to see them do is what keeps me going.”

Ledlow said since the surgery she has undergone speech therapy.

“Once your brain is operated on it is never the same,” she said. “I still have problems finding words. I have trouble keeping my focus on one thing for a long time. I am learning to deal with it.”

Ledlow said she has been growing stronger and hopes to run or walk in Saturday’s race.

“For a person with a brain tumor, I am doing really well,” Ledlow said. “I am not doing as well as I want to be doing and that is frustrating. I used to do everything.”

Awards will be given for the top three runners in every USATF age group and for the top three overall male and female runners.

Runners can register online at Registration is $25 before the race and $30 on the race day.

Running packets can be picked up at Lighthouse Sports and Fitness, 3333 W. Hefner Road, from 3-7 p.m. Friday or the morning of the race beginning at 7 a.m.

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