Kathleen Roney has never run a half-marathon before and she wasn’t a big fundraiser either. That is until a friend’s father died of cancer last year.
Roney, a resident, will be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Chicago on July 22 hoping to raise money in the fight against cancer.
One of 13 friends who will run the race, Roney and her friends have pledged to raise at least $975 each — some hope to raise more — as members of Team DetermiNation. As a team, the members want to raise $20,000, Roney said.
The inspiration for Roney to get involved and start her training was her friend John Hochstetter whose father, Daniel, died just hours after Hochstetter completed the half-marathon in 2011.
Hochstetter grew up in Naperville, but now lives in Kansas City, MO. His father was diagnosed in Feb. 2010 with stage four lung cancer that had metastasized to his brain. He died hours after the race on Aug. 14, 2011.
The friends Roney, 24, will run will all attended and high schools and have stayed in contact over the years, she said.
“A lot of people are affected by cancer,” Roney said. “We are a really close group – and we knew each other from church and used to go on trips together. John was really close to his dad and we are really close friends and want to support him.”
Last year when Hochstetter ran, his band of friends raised $9,000 – the largest amount among any of the teams. As members of Team Hoch Hogan (a take on his last name and Hulk Hogan) the team hopes to meet the $20,000 goal.
Roney is running in honor of several people as well including Hochstetter’s dad, but also her aunt, a friend of her mother and a teacher she had in sixth grade.
Normally she wouldn’t get involved in causes, but she said everyone knows someone who is affected by cancer and she knew several people who had fought the battle, which made it more personal.
She began training two months ago and finding time hasn’t been easy since she commutes back and forth to Chicago. She’s also been working on her fundraising efforts, recently holding a fundraiser at Red Mango. To date she’s raised $578 and is 59 percent to goal. The team has raised $5,463.30 to date toward its goal.
“You want to be a good friend,” Roney said of her participation. “And, a lot of people have a marathon – or half-marathon – on their bucket list. It’s a fun thing to do during the summer.”