CHICAGO — Cancer survivor Theresa Kyriaszes is thankful she's alive, let alone can finish a five-kilometer race with her 12-year-old son, Joel.
The pair — with Kyriaszes wearing the No. 1 bib — will compete in Thursday's Edison Park Turkey Trot 5K. The race benefits Imerman Angels, a non-profit that creates one-on-one conversations between cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers. Kyriaszes, who beat appendix cancer 10 years ago, has helped a few cancer patients with advice since.
She's running Thursday to help raise money for cancer fighters "who are still out there and for people who can help them and give them that peace," she said.
"I just want to rejoice in the fact that I'm cancer free and I have a family who I can run with," said Kyriaszes, 51, a Sauganash native and Norwood Park resident.
In 2005, Kyriaszes was diagnosed with cancer of the appendix, an extremely rare form of cancer that affects between 600 and 1,000 Americans each year. Kyriaszes was ruled cancer-free after a pair of surgeries to first remove her appendix and then to remove part of her colon and small intestine.
"My husband calls me 'semicolon,'" Kyriaszes said laughing.
Kyriaszes became serious about running relatively recently because she wanted to stay "young and fit and active," she said. Her son, one of Kyriaszes' two children, also pushed her to run a few 5Ks. She hopes to finish Thursday's event, which begins at the Edison Park Field House, 6755 N. Northwest Highway, in about 30 minutes with her son running in tandem.
"Running is very meditative for me," she said.
For more information, to register, donate, or to sponsor a runner, visit the event website at www.epturkeytrot.com or call 773-792-9005.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: