More than just 5 km: Laura's run against breast cancer
She was simply beaming at the finish line. Laura had just completed the 5K loop of the KoRo Women's Race Berlin—but she had just finished a longer journey before that. Much longer! Almost exactly one year ago, the 37-year-old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, she has fought her way through chemotherapy, surgery and radiation—all the way to the finish line of the KoRo Women's Race Berlin on May 13, 2023.
She had suspected for a long time that something was wrong with her breast, but her doctors did not take her seriously at first and only examined her superficially. She was still much too young for breast cancer, according to her gynaecologist at the time, who wanted to send her to a psychologist instead. A few months later, however, Laura had the devastating certainty that her suspicions were correct.
Happy at the finish line with her family
An exhausting treatment marathon
After that, an exhausting marathon began for the young mother: chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, always accompanied by numerous physical and psychological side effects. It was a time during which there was often no thought at all of exercise, let alone running. But her optimism never let her down. And when she came across the poster of the KoRo Women's Race during one of her chemotherapy appointments at the doctor's office, it was immediately clear to Laura that this would be her goal.
During chemo, Laura made the decision to run
At first, only short walks were possible
Normal training was not yet possible at that time. Laura was often happy if she could walk a few steps at all. During winter, some of her strength slowly returned, so that she could start her training with walks, accompanied by her dog. Two months ago in March, Laura had the last of her 19 radiation appointments coming up, at which time she started her first slow runs—always with the goal KoRo Women's Race in mind. "That motivated me a lot. I really wanted to be reasonably fit again by then," says Laura, who has also run a half marathon in the past.
Laura at the beginning of her training
Training provided confidence
After completing her radiation treatment, Laura went to a three-week rehabilitation programme at the Baltic Sea—where she managed to run longer distances every day and regained more and more joy in running. Back in Berlin, she took part in the preparation course for the KoRo Women's Race. In a motley group of women of different ages, they prepared together for the 5K distance at the KoRo Women's Race. The women met four times to train together in the Tiergarten Park, where they not only found community through their common goal of the KoRo Women's Race, but also by a lot of humour and fun running together. Laura found the final piece of confidence for her run here.
Name found! Laura with her son
When the KoRo Women's Race finally became a reality, you could tell Laura was simply enjoying the day. Even before the start, her joy was clearly visible, wearing her new short hairstyle with pride—after months without any hair at all. "I would never have dared to cut my hair off, but now I know what I look like with short hair," Laura says dryly, now able to smile about it. Together with a friend, she ran the 5 km to the finish. Here, a very special medal presenter was waiting for her: her 7-year-old son, whose pride in his mother was clearly visible.
At that moment, it was her family she was running for. Laura also wants to support other women who are going through similar experiences. She especially wants to encourage young women to go for regular breast cancer screening and to take every personal suspicion seriously, no matter what anyone else may say. Currently, every tenth woman with breast cancer is under 45 years old!
Laura at the start of the KoRo Women’s Race 2023