Birthday Inspiration: Cancer Survivor and American Cancer Society Fundraiser Kristen McQueen

Feb 23, 2012 2:15 PM ET
Kristin McQueen

DetermiNation Blog

Kristin McQueen, 33, doesn’t consider herself to be inspirational. She’s a woman who likes to run, and while she’s at it, she might as well raise some money for the American Cancer Society at the same time.

And yet, she has unwittingly become a poster child for fighting back against cancer simply because of the unassuming and relentless fighter that she is. Many know her by name and have heard her speak at ACS and running events.

Others simply know her as the “Suck It Cancer” girl, the signature tagline on the back of her singlet – And at some point, we’re all watching this girl take off ahead of us.

Still more know her for her positive words. When asked why one should continue to fight for others struggling with cancer, her response is simply “Because we can.”

Kristin first became an ACS DetermiNation athlete in 2002. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer the following year. She has continued to race both in marathons and other distances, stepping up her game to Ironman competitions. The sweet Ironman tattoo is an excellent balance to the surgery scars.

That includes, by the way, seven brain surgeries to date – and that’s just touching the surface of the procedures, complications and permanent health issues that are left behind.

Although Kristin is able to race, her cancer has made itself a permanent resident. Eight years later, she is still actively fighting the disease. And still actively fundraising – with over $100,000 in donations to the American Cancer Society to date.

Think about that – What did you do with your 20s?