“I like how I feel when I run. I’m more alert, happier and less stressed,” said Liding, cross-country and track runner, and St. Jude patient.
During her sophomore year of high school, Liding rarely took a break from running. But last December, just as she was making the transition from cross-country to track season, Liding started having stomach pains. “The pain affected my running so much I couldn’t finish the workouts,” she said. “As my pains got worse I went to the hospital for testing.”
“Liding had always been extremely healthy and active,” said her mother. “I was really surprised by her symptoms.”
After an ultrasound revealed a large mass in her abdomen, Liding underwent surgery in her hometown to remove the tumor. Further tests showed she had a rare soft tissue cancer called fibrosarcoma. Liding was immediately referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where she underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20% when we first opened our doors to more than 80% today. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
During her stay at St. Jude, Liding has created friendships that have helped her throughout the treatment process. “I’ve met other patients from all over the world,” said Liding. “They get exactly what I’m going through.”
And though her training schedule was interrupted by cancer, Liding has big plans for the future.
Her dream is to reconnect with running by participating in the half marathon during this year’s St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. “For me, it means a lot to run for St. Jude, and I’d be honored to be a part of the event,” Liding said. She’s still recovering from treatment, so if not this year, then next.