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Ozarks Runner Taking on Run of a Lifetime

BATTLEFIELD, Mo. -- An Ozarks graduate is taking on a run of a lifetime to raise awareness for young adults battling cancer. "For me cancer has been something that has affected a lot of my close family members and friends."
BATTLEFIELD, Mo. --  An Ozarks graduate is taking on a run of a lifetime to raise awareness for young adults battling cancer.

"For me cancer has been something that has affected a lot of my close family members and friends."

Natalie Rooney is lacing up her sneakers tight to run from San Francisco to Baltimore for the Ulman Cancer Fund.

"It combines two of my passions in life running and it raises awareness and funds for cancer."

Rooney says the run takes 42 days and 26 runners will split more than 4,000 miles.

"On an average day, me and my running buddy might run three miles and then hop in the van for a little bit and then we might get out and run 5 or 6 miles," says Natalie.

Debra Rooney is not surprised by the determination of her daughter.

"I just can't believe she is undertaking something this big but it doesn't surprise me, she's quite the go-getter."

The real reward meeting those battling the disease.

"We'll get the chance to meet and interact with some young adults who have cancer and are fighting it right now so we'll deliver them chemo care bags to the hospital while they are going through chemotherapy or we are even going to surprise a couple of them with college scholarships," explains Rooney.

"To me its more like the people we are meeting who have cancer are way more cooler, way more awesome than I am. They didn't sign up for a run, they didn't sign up for cancer, they are battling it not by choice."

Rooney says its surreal after a roller coaster of emotions leading up to the run.

"I've gone through so many emotions over the last couple of weeks being super excited and having really high excited points and also being a little bit nervous and scared and just hoping that things go smoothly."

The group will leave Sunday, June 15, from San Francisco. They should make it to Kansas City and St. Louis by the middle of next month before finishing at Freedom Hill in Baltimore.
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