LISBON — Running is the easy part of training for Kim Young.

“It’s me time,” she said. “I think a lot while running. I think about a lot of ‘what ifs.’ I think about how incredibly fortunate I am. I think about it constantly.”

“It” is cancer, specifically epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, or EHE.

“It gets heavy,” Young said of her running thoughts.

On Sunday, she’ll run the 26.2-mile Maine Marathon in Portland. Her 4-year-old son, Owen, and her husband, Greg, along with her parents and in-laws will be there to cheer her on.

“This marathon is a huge deal to her,” her mother, Sue Bechard, said.

In February, Young had a sharp pain in her abdomen and two weeks later she was told she had EHE, which strikes one in a million people.

“I like being told I am one in a million, but that is not how I wanted that to be,” she said.

“I can’t even describe the feeling,” she said about the phone conversation with her doctor that evening. The first words she could think to say were, “But I’m not sick. I feel fine.”

“It did not sink in at first. It hit me later that night and I had a bit of a breakdown,” she said.

There is no treatment for EHE.

“The wait-and-see approach is how we are taking it,” Young said. “There is no tried and true way to treat this. It’s very unpredictable. I may live for 30-40 years and never know I have cancer or it can become aggressive and I start treatment,” she said.

Kim Young plays Thursday with her 4-year-old son, Owen, outside her Lisbon home. She will run in the Maine Marathon in Portland on Sunday to raise awareness of a rare form of cancer she has and for which there is no treatment. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Young has run a half marathon and had always wanted to run a full one. Once diagnosed with cancer, a marathon took on a whole new meaning.

“It was an ah-ha moment,” she said.

Training has been “grueling,” she said. “Carving out time to run is brutal.”

Young tries to get one in before her son gets up in the morning. “But, Owen is an early riser. He gets up five minutes after I do,” she said.

“Staying consistent is the tough part” about training, but she said she’s ready.

She is running to inform others about the rare cancer she is living with.

“I have taken it upon myself to raise awareness because everyone is like, what is that? The word itself sounds like I made it up,” she said.

She designed a shirt with the words “Just Live,” a motto with special meaning to those with EHE. On the back are the names of survivors or people who have died from the disease.

“Those names are going to carry me across the finish line,” she said.

So far, Young has raised over $1,200 for the EHE Foundation from sales of the shirts.


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