Running as a way to battle cancer

Published on August 15, 2014
Amanda and Wayne van Veen

In a way running and the battle against cancer have been closely associated for Amanda van Veen.

In 2010 it was Kora Hanrahan who coached her as she ran with a group of women in Pictou. Early in 2011 Hanrahan’s daughter Reese was diagnosed with cancer.

As Reese continued her battle, Amanda continued with her running and her friendship with Hanrahan, who continued to run with her as much as possible.

Now Amanda is hoping to use her running as a way to help fight Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Through a program of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada called Team in Training, she and her husband Wayne are trying to raise about $10,000. If they are successful they would be able to go to Athens to run in races there. While they’d have to cover the cost of their own flights. Accommodations and their race entry will be covered by the organization. Amanda plans to run a full marathon there, while Wayne would be running the 5K.

Amanda will run in honour of Reese.

“I just feel like they have inspired me to run,” she said.

Wayne would be running in honour of a boy named Keagen Livingstone who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leaukemia April 15 2013.   Since treatments for boys with this diagnoses are longer than girls his treatments will go on for three and a half years years.  Keagen is currently taking oral chemo every night at home, and also requires monthly visits to the Alberta children's hospital for treatments there as well.

So far they have raised slightly more than $5,000 and will soon have to make the decision whether to commit to the trip in hopes of raising the rest or not.

To that end, this Sunday they are hosting a yard sale with bake table at Country Barter Rentals at 1105 Foxbrook Road from 9 a.m. -12 p.m.

While they’ve had a couple corporate sponsorships and are waiting to hear back from a few other companies, Amanda said it’s been encouraging the donations they’ve received from average people.

“It’s great to have the support of our friends,” she said.

People can make donations online by going to