Local women prepare for leukemia marathon

Local women prepare for leukemia marathon Julia Sollenberger (left) and Andrea Barnett (right) have been busy since late last year raising funds and getting into shape for a marathon in Nashville, TN in late April. Approximately 30,000 people will take part in the race, sponsored by the Leukemia Society of America. Sollenberger and Barnett became interested in participating in this event as a way of honoring Bernice Delaney (center), a resident of the Sioux Valley Vermillion Health Care Center, and her granddaughter, Sherry Ellis of Madison. Both are in remission from leukemia. Money raised from the race will be used to help find a cure for leukemia and other related cancers. by David Lias Julia Sollenberger and Andrea Barnett know that stiff muscles, blisters and some exhausting times await them.

They also know they are about to embark on one of the most exhilarating times of their lives � a time when they can help make a difference for people suffering from leukemia.

The two women will fly to Nashville, TN April 27. Two days later, they will take part in a 26 mile marathon sponsored by the Leukemia Society of America.

Sollenberger and Barnett each must raise $2,800 to participate in the marathon. The money will help fund research for a cure.

Their efforts also will honor Bernice Delaney, a resident at the Sioux Valley Vermillion Care Center, and her granddaughter, Sherry Ellis, Madison, who both are in remission from leukemia.

Sollenberger and Barnett have purple ribbons on hand that citizens can acquire for a $1 donation. They�ve held bake sales, are planning a rummage sale April 8, and have manned tables at Hy-Vee and Jones� Food Center.

Sollenberger works as activity assistant in the dementia wing of the care center. Barnett is a physical therapist assistant for the hospital in Vermillion.

Sollenberger has never run in a marathon, adding that participants may run or walk in the Nashville race. �I clarify this with everyone,� she said, laughing. �My goal is to run 13 of the 26 miles.�

Approximately 30,000 people are expected to take part in the marathon.

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