Why We Run: showing the strength of a mother's love

(NEWS CENTER) -- Taking on the task of a running marathon isn't easy. It requires months of training and long runs, often in cold weather. But a mother's love is very powerful motivation, and keeps Betsy Frost-Hawes out on the road.

"I think when I first started, I was like, 'what am I doing?'. But it's just been a really good thing," said Betsy.

Her son's encouragement has helped her throughout the journey. Her son, Ethan, a University of Maine-Orono student, ran the Madrid Marathon last April. During his training and the marathon, he had pain in leg. He kept running, completing the marathon, thinking it was only a small issue with his tendon.

Three months later, it became clear the pain wasn't from a tendon problem. An MRI over Fourth of July weekend showed there was a big hole in his hip bone. Doctors diagnosed Ethan with multiple myeloma, a cancer that starts in the plasma cells in bone marrow. Within days, Ethan and his parents were at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

"We never realized the inner strength that he had and how he tried to put things into perspective...moving forward and having goals," said Betsy.

Ethan had surgery to rebuild his hip and prepare him for chemotherapy. Six days later, he returned to UMO to continue his classes. It's that sense of pure determination and focus that Betsy uses to drive her as she trains.

"It keeps me sane, " she said.

Betsy will run the 26.2 miles with her son on her mind. Ethan is still fighting multiple myeloma and is continuing to receive treatment at Dana-Farber.


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