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Teenage Battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma Inspires Life as an Athlete

Finding her passion and running with it

The Ironman triathlon will mark the 10-year anniversary since her diagnosis, almost to the day. “This time, I will do it on my own terms enduring a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a 26.2 mile run in efforts to raise money and awareness for LLS” said Bildirici. When asked what advice she would give to her teenage self, she responded – “find something that you love doing, and that you’re passionate about because that makes all the difference. Once I became passionate about running, everything else clicked—food, my habits, my confidence, and the discipline to get up and run. Search for that thing that you love to do.”

Looking back, Bildirici realizes that the entire cancer experience has been paramount to who she is today, everything that she has done, and everything that she continues to do. “For the longest time, I never wanted to share my story. I didn’t want to be the girl who had cancer and I didn’t want to let anything define who I was. I realized I am so much more than that and my story can help inspire other people to take control of their life” she said.

Photo: Instagram/runningonveggies