Abbie Lynn Abbott completed her first marathon—the 2018 Chicago Marathon – in honor of her mother, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018. Shortly after the race, her mother passed away. This year, Abbie is running the Marine Corps Marathon with Team LUNGevity in memory of her mom and to honor those who are living with the disease. Originally from southern Indiana, she now lives in central Florida with her husband and three children.
How did you choose running in an endurance event as your fundraising mechanism?
My brother and I ran our first marathon in 2018. After signing up to run as charity runners for a team in the Chicago Marathon, our mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. We spent much of our training praying for her, thinking about her, and running in her honor. If she could battle such a terrible disease, we could keep putting one foot in front of the other. We ran for Momma. Just 15 days after we crossed the finish line, Momma took her final breath here on earth. We are absolutely devastated and continue to miss her with every moment of every day. She was not only a beautiful mother – she was a precious soul, friend, mentor, sister, aunt, grandmother, and so much more. She left such joy and hope in the lives of those around her. We knew that our marathon training days were not over. We needed to continue to run in our mother’s honor, only this time we would raise funds in her memory. We continue to run for sweet Momma – as well as in honor of those who continue to battle lung cancer with their every breath.
Why did you choose to fundraise for LUNGevity?
Prior to my mother’s diagnosis, I lived under the false assumption that most lung cancer patients are those who either are or previously have been a smoker. My mother never smoked a day in her life, and she didn’t live with anyone who smoked when she was young. To say we were shocked would be an absolute understatement. After her diagnosis, we did our best to learn all we could about treatment options and her best next steps moving forward. Although we did not end up with more than just 7 short months with Momma after her diagnosis, we know that others can beat the odds and survive much longer … living with lung cancer is actually possible. We know that even though we did not get to enjoy the time for which we had hoped with our sweet Momma, we can find ways to help others enjoy more time with their loved ones.
What are your goals? (Fundraising, raising awareness, finish under a certain time, building a community, etc.)
I am running alongside my husband, my brother, and my sister-in-law. My goals are to have a finish time better than my first marathon and to do so with each step being a reminder that I have been given the gift of life. Each day, each breath, each heartbeat is a gift. I want to use my training and my race to remind myself and those around me that every single day we are given is to be used to its fullest, for we are not guaranteed another tomorrow. After losing Momma, I was reminded of the truth of how fragile life truly is. I will never forget when Momma smiled at me from her hospital bed, held my hand, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, “Ab, don’t forget to live. God is good, even when life is hard. Live every single moment He gives you. Live.” Grief keeps me from remembering those words sometimes, but in her honor I try. May God grant us clarity to receive each day, each step of our own “race,” as a gift.
LUNGevity Spotlight is a way to highlight people living with lung cancer, caregivers, volunteers, and fundraisers who are making a positive impact in the LUNGevity community. We hope that their stories will inspire and encourage many more to get involved.
If you know someone in the LUNGevity community whom you'd like us to Spotlight, please nominate them here.