Twenty-five thousand people apply for the CIGNA Falmouth Road Race each year, but only 10,000 get a spot. Lois Green won hers through an essay contest, by writing about her battle with lung cancer. A fight she took on with hope, strength and a pair of sneakers.
Lois Green caught the running bug years ago, tackling race after race, marathon after marathon. But it was it wasn't until the summer of 2006 that she really started to run for her life.
"The doctor said two things. 'One, you definitely have asthma and two, I'm going to take you into my office and show you your CT scan.' That's when he pointed out the spot on my lung and told me I had lung cancer," she said.
It was the same day her mother underwent breast cancer surgery, so for weeks Lois kept her cancer quiet. She went for more tests, then underwent surgery that removed half of her lung.
"I had a lot of time to think about why did this happen to me, there's a reason for everything. And that's when I started getting phone calls from people immediately," she said.
People who wanted her to share her story of hope. The more she talked, the better she felt. Minimum recovery for her surgery was 12 weeks. In 7, she ran a 5k race.
"Just the fact that I could finish and I could do this gave me the encouragement to continue," Lois said.
And she did. She signed up with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's TEAM in Training to run another marathon, 9 months after surgery. She had to fund raise first.
"Within days people were responding," she said. "When they sent in their donations they always told me their story."
Now, it's her inspirational story that is running her to the CIGNA Falmouth Road Race in Massachusetts. A run she never imagined when she was diagnosed four years ago.
"In a strange way it ended up being a gift," she said.
Lois leaves Friday with her two daughters and one of the friends who urged her to write. The race started back in 1973 and has become so popular it was named "One of the 25 essential things to do in the summer" by Sports Illustrated.