Two-time survivor Kim Higgins has inspired her local community by running a half-marathon to raise money for the treatment of her own breast cancer.
“This third occurrence was a chance for me to take matters into my own hands,” says Higgins, 43. “I lost my health insurance after my first round of chemo in January. I’d had friends who ran to raise money for various causes and I thought, ‘why can’t I do that for myself?’”
Higgins’ husband, Jeff, is supportive of her endeavor. “At first I wondered if the running was a good idea. But we mortgaged our house to pay for her last round of treatments, and really wanted to avoid that this time if possible.”
Friends are also inspired by her courage: “She’s been really brave,” says coworker Kathy Mahoney. “I’m so jealous of how skinny she’s getting!”
Higgins has just two more weeks to train and raise money for the run, a hilly 13-mile route around her town of Harwinton, Connecticut. The community has already backed $3,800 of the $30,000 she hopes to raise. She’s so optimistic that she’ll raise the necessary money that she has already started her second round of chemotherapy.
“I wanted to start the chemo now so that people knew I was really serious about this whole thing,” said Higgins, while stretching outside her home and pausing to steady herself. “I’m running a low-grade fever right now but it’s too nice a day to not be training.”
Neighbors are excited for Higgins, and some have even agreed to join her on her run to raise money for causes of their own. “I’m so glad Kim’s finally took up running,” says family friend, Jim Barnes. “She’s a real trooper. That’s why I’ll be running alongside her wearing the ‘Go Kim!’ shirt I had made.”
The money Barnes’ is raising for his participation in the run will go towards Alzheimer’s research.
“My dad had Alzheimer’s,” he explains, “I wish there was more I could’ve done for him while he was still here.”