Robby Zehrung, a pre-med student at WCU, is preparing to run a marathon in honor of his grandmother and grandfather in April.
“This is my chance to do something cool”, states Zehrung.
While he may be going through extensive training to run 26.2 miles in Nashville, Tennessee on Apr. 25, he feels that he is trying to do a good thing. Zehrung is raising money, a total of $2300, by sending letters to his family and fundraising through distribution of candy. He has to reach his financial goal by April 11. Zehrung will be selling candy in Sylva during February, March and April in front of Walmart and other heavily visited stores.
The biggest challenge Zehrung has faced thus far is that “I just can’t get the campus involved. Restrictions are silly, they’ll [WCU] do blood drives and endorse alcohol awareness, but not let me promote my cause. The main difference is that these people just aren’t as aware of the issue. It is important for the students to know about this because this cancer could affect them or may have already affected them,” says Zehrung. He calculated that if every student on campus donated a mere .30-he will have reached his goal.
The marathon, part of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, “has grown to become an unparalleled sports training program. More than 380,000 people are involved…The mission of Team in Training is no simple task, they are on a mission to wipe out blood cancers once and for all,” states Zehrung.
Zehrung’s typical training routine revolves around his supportive wife, Kelly. “She doesn’t throw bricks at me when we wake up early,” he says.
Both awake at 5:45 am and fill up water bottles to hit the gym, track or predestinated spot and run 3-5 miles daily.
Zehrung said that funding, whether big or small, will help by providing availability for research, transportation, and co-pays for medicine.
“Research is working, since 50 years ago the survival rate has gone from 4% to 80%,” said Zehrung.
For more information on Zehrung, visit http://pages.teamintraining.org/nc/cmc09/zehrung.