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Luisa Runs 5 for 5

Name: Luisa Lyons
Event: TCS New York City Marathon
Date: November 3, 2019


At 29, I was a healthy organic eating vegetarian who exercised regularly and meditated. Not exactly a prime candidate for cancer. Six weeks before my 30th birthday, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a disease that usually affects men in their 60s and has a survival rate beyond 5 years of around 25%. 

I underwent 3 rounds of chemo, 11 doses of full body radiation, and had a stem cell transplant with cells donated by my sister, Anita. The treatment was incredibly painful and debilitating. A few days after my transplant, I watched the 2014 NYC Marathon from the window of my isolation room at Memorial Sloan Kettering and wondered if I would ever be up to running again. I could barely walk a lap of the transplant ward! 

The recovery was long and slow, but walking, and eventually running, helped me get back to "normal." I was ecstatic to run my first ever marathon in 2017. A year later, I ran my second marathon. 

This year, I'm running 3 marathons - Queens, Rochester, and NYC. The NYC Marathon will be my 5th marathon and will take place a few days after the 5th anniversary of my transplant.

Help me make my miles even more meaningful by donating to Fred's Team!

By donating to my race, you will be giving doctors and researchers at MSK the funding they need to make groundbreaking discoveries and conduct lifesaving clinical trials. Every dollar raised is another important stride toward progress — and brings us one step closer to a world without cancer. 


Visit to follow my journey! 

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