Chelsea Bell is running 10 half marathons in 10 months in 2020 to raise $10,000 as part of Team LUNGevity. She is running in memory of her father and to honor her brother, both of who were affected by lung cancer. She was born and raised in South Carolina, but currently lives in Washington, DC, where she works with the federal government and raises three young children.
Why did you choose to fundraise for LUNGevity in particular?
I wanted to do something after I lost my dad to lung disease in 2019 and watched my brother fight and suffer through lung cancer from 2018 to present, but I had no idea what to do. Then one day in November last year, I was watching the Today Show and was moved to tears watching one of the founders share her journey with lung cancer. I couldn't believe the statistics on lung cancer and how it was the number one cancer killer. If I had no idea, how would other people be aware? This was the first time I heard about LUNGevity and wanted to join their fight and lock arms to make a difference. There are so many people affected by cancer and giving them a way to see through the difficulties, the hurt, the pain, and the loss would be a blessing.
How did you choose how you wanted to fundraise?
Running is my outlet. It's my "ME" time in a busy life with a family of 5 and working full-time. I love to run because it's just me and the open road—except on race day LOL! It's my way to let my hurt, pain, and worries of losing my father in March 2019, watching my brother's journey with stage III lung cancer, my father-in-law's continued battle with cancer, and aunt's relapse of lung cancer in 2019. So many family members affected by lung cancer, and I love to run, so it was an easy decision for me. To be honest, the hesitation I felt was not from committing to run a race but committing to run 10 half marathons in one year to raise $10,000 was my hesitation. What made me get over that hesitation was being a part of the bigger picture to raise awareness and help others by fundraising while running; it was the perfect choice for me.
What are your goals?
To encourage and empower others to think big, do big things and NOT to give up! I would have never thought that I would be running 10 half marathons in 10 months to raise $10,000 in 2020. I know that I can do this and I'm taking my families journey of fighting lung cancer to push me to every finish line and make every step count for THEM!
What impact do you hope your fundraising efforts will make?
To make others aware that lung cancer doesn't only affect smokers and that lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer—not enough people know this. I want to bring hope not only to my family, but to others who have lost loved ones and to those fighting this awful fight. I would love to have others JOIN ME in fundraising for LUNGevity; how awesome would it be to have others run alongside me in honor and in memory of our loved ones!
What gives you hope?
That I can do something! As a loved one watching a family member struggle and fight through each day because cancer is attacking their body, you feel helpless. This gives me strength and gives me HOPE knowing I'm doing this! I'm running each mile for them.
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.