Alabama student runs coast to coast to fight cancer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala (WIAT) – Running across the country, from coast to coast, would be quite the achievement for any runner. For UA Senior Abby Rentschler, it was more than just an exciting challenge.

Rentschler ran from sea to shining sea to support the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, an organization designed to help people between 15 and 36 years old who are diagnosed with the disease.

“This ad popped up on my Instagram and said ‘do you want to run across the country?’ and I said heck yeah I do!” Rentschler said.

But it was when her passion met her own family’s brush with the disease that made her sure this was the mission for her. Her late grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and battle the disease for years.

“He inspired me to go on the run,” she said. “And since I have this talent for running, I thought, what better way to combine those two aspects of my life than by doing something great?”

The excursion took 49 days among Rentschler and her 28 teammates from “4K for Cancer” to run the cross country relay from San Francisco to New York. Rentschler says the run was especially important to her because she was able to help young people who have busy lives yet also have to battle cancer.

“They’re either going to college, or getting a new job. They have enough stress on their plates. That’s kind of what this organization is about. Getting these patients more of the support that they need,” she said.

Rentschler is the President of Run UA, a group of runners on the University of Alabama Campus. She’s on a pre-med track and plans to graduate in May of 2018.

“I don’t want to do something that’s just selfish,” she added. “I think the best way to live my life is going to be in such a way that I can impact the most people.”


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