City officials are rallying behind 23-year resident Vicki Varela’s quest to complete the 2009 Surf City USA Marathon in Huntington Beach on Sunday. Varela, who is battling Stage 2 Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, was unable to participate last year.
Varela was diagnosed in 2001 with the chronic disease, which has no cure, and underwent eight months of chemotherapy and steroids.
In 2005, she walked her first marathon with Team in Training after going into remission and was honored as the team’s hero. Team In Training (TNT) is the signature fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. TNT is the world’s first, best and largest charity sports training program – and the only one to offer a full complement of sports training options.
The marathon experience and others that followed certainly impacted Varela’s life and helped her to feel grateful and alive.
Varela undergoes monthly infusions to help her immune system fight off infection. Since weather conditions and risk of infection prevented her from participating in last year’s event, Varela is eagerly looking forward to Sunday’s event.
The City will cheer her on as she competes in the largest oceanfront marathon and half marathon in the state. More importantly, officials will hold Varela in their thoughts and prayers as she continues to courageously battle the disease.
Extensive coverage of the marathon and more information is available at www.runsurfcity.com.