Spring Lake woman hopes to complete her 17th 25K River Bank Run, overcoming many hurdles
Saturday, May 13, is the 40th annual Fifth Third River Bank Run. Between 18 and 1,000 runners, hand cyclists and walkers are expected to take part. Each of them has a different reason for why they're doing it.
This will be Cindy Kikkert-Penning's 17th consecutive Fifth Third River Bank run 25K -- and she has overcome many obstacles to get here.
This year, having injured both of her feet, Cindy will complete the 15 and a half mile race on a knee scooter with her husband by her side.
Cindy was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in February of 2012, and a brain tumor in December of 2013, -- but she didn't let those conditions stop her.
Through chemo, radiation and several surgeries, Cindy continued to put on her pink running shoes every day.
Before her illness, Cindy was a highly competitive 5K runner. "That part cancer has taken away, but for me to at least run the River Bank, it's just part of who I am that cancer can't take away from me," she explained.
"And I think that has helped her, not just to have a sense of normalcy but I think it's helped her physically," said her husband, Dr. Tim Penning. "It's helped her endure treatments, recover from surgeries, to have that mental goal, but just physically I think it's made her stronger, so I'm pretty proud of her."
Cindy tells us throughout her treatments, finishing the River Bank 25K was always a top priority. She is nervous about this year's race, but is confident they will make it to the finish line.
We'll be cheering for you, Cindy!
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