You know the saying "It takes a village to raise a child." One local running group is taking it another step, living out the message that it takes a community to help a friend in need.
7News explains how these runners are putting their feet to work, raising money for a Moss Bluff woman battling cancer.
Chances are if you have driven through the city of Sulphur before, you have noticed one, two or several of the runners, known as "SPAR Stars." Running coach, AunJelle Burton says, "They've evolved into a support group with a running problem. They like to run and talk and figure out their problems."
While solving life's problems, this group also found a way to give back by organizing races to help people in need.
This year's Park-to-Park half marathon and one mile run will benefit 39-year-old Erin Davison who found out last June she had cancer. "I thought, it's not me! I can't have cancer," she said, "I can't have a blood clot, I'm too young. When they tell you that you have cancer you automatically face your mortality."
Seven rounds of chemo later and one more to go, Erin says she is feeling better today.
Now this fitness instructor - you might remember from a flash mob zumba story after her diagnosis - can't wait to savor the chance to walk again with caring friends. "I'm walking for others who can't walk," she said, "who are going through cancer treatment or any other type of illness."
This is not the first time the SPAR Stars have put their hobby and their friendship to the test in a race. It started in 2010 with the Run for Jimbo, benefiting another friend in his cancer fight. "He and his wife realized how much that we were there for them and not only the SPAR Stars, but Sulphur as a community, because these are the people that came out and supported him on that day," said Burton.
This race is Erin's turn to feel the love and support. She says her pity party is over and life after cancer is simply about living. "You put your big girl panties on or your big boy underwear and you suck it up," she said, "and you deal because you're alive! Every day you're alive, you've won, because cancer cannot win."
The Run for Erin Park-to-Park half marathon and one mile fun run is Saturday, Feb. 2 in Sulphur. It is not too late to register! Here is a link to registration information.
You can also check out the full raw interview with Erin Davison about her cancer journey in the video section of www.kplctv.com.