Kyllian Warman of New Jersey has transformed the challenges in her life into an opportunity to be a hero for the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The college student has run 13 full marathons since April 2013, raising $75,000 through the St. Jude Heroes program. She was recognized with the Heroes Among Us Award during the 2014 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.
Kyllian began running as a way to deal with tragedy in her own family. When she was a high school freshman, her father, Rick, was found to have colon and liver cancer. Always an athlete, Kyllian added running track as a form of therapy.
In 2012, when her father’s condition worsened, Kyllian decided to run 2,012 miles that year — reaching that goal by making her 16-mile round-trip school commute on foot. The long runs helped her process her feelings.
For me, the Heroes program has really transformed everything.
Everyone should be a hero once in their life.
Her father died the day of Kyllian’s high school graduation, and she decided that she wanted to run to benefit cancer research. Kyllian then discovered the St. Jude Heroes program, which allows runners and walkers to raise funds by seeking pledges for participation in endurance events.
St. Jude is the sole beneficiary of the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend and the featured charity partner for the St. Jude Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee. Athletes can also raise funds as St. Jude Heroes by taking part in other marathons and half marathons nationwide.
“For me, the Heroes program has really transformed everything,” Kyllian said. “Everyone should be a hero once in their life.”
Be a hero! Learn how to participate in the St. Jude Heroes program.