Campus rallies around student's journey to help others

Publication Date

When Kaitlyn Suarez ’15 crosses the finish line at the Walt Disney


World Half Marathon, it will signal another significant milestone in her long journey.

The three-time cancer survivor from Wading River, N.Y. is working with Team in Training to run the road race on Jan. 7.

Suarez is running to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and help others dealing with blood cancers. She said the response to her fundraising has been humbling.

“I just cannot believe to see how many people have given,” she said. “I’m overwhelmed.”

Suarez battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma throughout her high school years. She was recovering from a bone marrow transplant after her third bout with cancer when she got her acceptance to Union.

Today, she’s a member of the women’s cross country team and looking to major in environmental sciences.

For Suarez, running is healing her from life’s struggles. “After the third time battling, I can't imagine myself doing anything else besides running cross country,” she said. “For me, normalcy is running, and normalcy is what I truly want.”

The campus community has rallied around her, helping her to exceed her goal of $3,350.

Suarez said the tremendous support from Union has cemented her choice to come to Schenectady. “I don’t think I realized how perfect this school was for me,” she said. “I know in my heart that Union was absolutely where I need to be.”

To donate to Kaitlyn’s Team in Training fundraising effort, visit her page by clicking here.