NYC Marathon to be 300th milestone for this brain cancer survivor

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Sunday, November 5, 2023
NYC Marathon to be 300th milestone for this brain cancer survivor
Sam Ryan has an inspiring story from a brain cancer survivor.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Running 26.2 miles is an impressive journey in itself. Multiplying that by 300 might seem unimaginable.

For Julia Khavsechko, the New York City Marathon will be her milestone 300th marathon.

2023 TCS NYC Marathon course map through the 5 boroughs

Khavsecho was never even a runner, but that all changed after a devastating diagnosis of Oligodendroglioma, a rare type of brain tumor, when she was 24.

"I went to the library. I started doing research," Khavsecho said. "What causes someone to get a brain tumor? What causes someone to get a tumor, period?"

Khavsecho's first surgery led to another surgery before she was healthy enough to accept treatment.

"I started changing my 'why me' to my 'why not me,'" Khavsecho said.

She found inspiration watching the New York City Marathon while being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

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"I watched with my eyes, this excitement, and I got excited," Khavsecho said. "I was going to do anything in my power to one day be them, on that side of the glass."

Step by step and mile by mile, Khavsecho stuck by her aspirations and became a marathoner.

"I started training, one mile I walked, one mile I ran," Khavsecho said. "Running that one mile, it was like I was running the marathon, but eventually within three to four months, I got stronger"

As Khavsecho makes her way through the finish line in her 300th marathon, she hopes to inspire others along the way.

"I get to run past Sloan Kettering and wave and spread hope and I tell everyone my story," Khavsecho said. "I went from being cancer girl to runner girl, and I like that title more."

Discover more coverage of the 2023 TCS NYC Marathon here and tune in Sunday starting at 7:00 a.m. on Channel 7 for coverage of the race.