Aug. 8—LEBANON — Lebanon resident and two- time brain tumor survivor Leigh Melia will be running in the 50th Annual Falmouth Road Race to raise money for the National Brain Tumor Society.
The race will take place in Falmouth, Mass. on Aug. 21, beginning at 9: 20 a. m. It is a seven- mile race along the town's shore.
The race includes more than 12,000 runners, ranging from Olympic runners to those who run recreationally. Those running in the race are raising money for various charities.
In March, Melia was chosen to join the National Brain Tumor Society Gray Endurance Team to run the race. Her goal is to raise more than $ 2,000 from the race.
In 2013, Melia began experiencing brain tumor symptoms, including headaches, fatigue and knee discomfort. Her physician told her she was depressed and advised her to reduce her stress.
After the issues progressed to paralysis in her feet and balance problems, Melia decided to see a neurologist. The neurologist broke the news to Melia that she had a benign left parasagittal tangerine- sized tumor in her head.
" I will never forget the moment the neurologist handed me a post- it note with the words 5 cm and meningioma written on it," she said regarding the moment she learned of her brain tumor. " I remember saying ' I don't have time for this.'" At that time, Melia was a full- time teacher with two small children. With nearly every minute of her life accounted for, her life had suddenly changed.
A neurosurgeon removed the brain tumor, but it grew back in 2017. Melia needed surgery again, followed by radiation. However, this time around Melia had the support of the National Brain Tumor Society, as she began volunteering there in 2016.
" This time I had the support of not only my wonderful family and friends, but the friends I made through the National Brain Tumor Society," Melia said.
Melia has been stable since 2018. She is thankful to have survived both brain tumors.
" Every day I am above ground is a good day," she said.
Melia is excited to run in the Falmouth Road Race and raise money to help prevent brain tumors.
" I am excited to join the NBTS ( National Brain Tumor Society) Endurance Team to combine my love of running with my love of this organization and what they do to support the brain tumor community," she said.
For more information on the Falmouth Road Race and to donate money to Melia, go to falmouthroadrace. com.
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