Running for Her Life: On the Road Again After Bladder Cancer

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Grateful for her health and recovery, avid runner and bladder cancer survivor Carol Hanna gives back to others by volunteering at Renown.

Physical activity has always been a big part of Carol Hanna’s life. Even as she put her marathon training on hold to be treated for bladder cancer, she was determined to still lace up her running shoes someday. 

Today, she’s approaching the fifth anniversary of being treated for bladder cancer, and once again, she’s toeing the line at races. 

“I’m just really lucky I’m here to run,” Hanna says. “I am lucky to go outside every day and see the sky and breathe the air.”

Giving Back After Bladder Cancer 

She also volunteers at the Sally de Lipkau Cancer Resource Center at the Renown Institute for Cancer, named in honor of a longtime volunteer who happens to be the wife of Hanna’s husband’s cousin.  

“I really like volunteering at the hospital because there were so many wonderful people here who helped me,” Hanna says. “They were so kind to me, and they were just always there.” 

Following her diagnosis, Hanna underwent an Indiana pouch procedure, a form of urinary reconstruction and diversion surgery. The surgery took a few months to heal because she was cut from breast bone to pelvis.

“I started walking every day,” Hanna says. “You walk three steps, then five steps, then 10 steps. By February, I told my doctor I was ready to start running. In March, I did a race in San Francisco.”

Coincidentally, she had her surgery on her birthday — Dec. 26. She will mark a very special milestone this year on that date. 

“My doctor told me there was a 50-50 chance that in five years I would be alive,” she says. “But he said that he felt with my energy, and what I do to stay in good shape and eat right, that I am going to live to be an old lady.”

For more information on cancer care at Renown, visit renown.org/cancer.

To learn more about how to volunteer at Renown, go to www.renown.org/volunteer or call Volunteer Services at 775-982-4755.

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