As he trained for the Big Sur International Marathon, Cory Reding ’97 believed he could run the 26.2 mile race in less than three hours. But the reappearance of a malignant brain tumor forced him to drop out of the marathon and, in May 1998, less than a month after brain surgery, compete in the 5K run instead.
Running may have saved his life. After suffering two blackouts while jogging in Santa Barbara in 1996, Cory was diagnosed with a tumor. “The doctor told me that had I lived a sedentary life, the cancer may have gone undetected a lot longer,” he reported.
Since his second surgery, the 23-year old has undergone radiation and chemotherapy. “Had I been more educated about my cancer in 1996, I would have had radiation then. Everybody has a cancer in their life of some sort. This is mine. I just play the hand that I’ve been dealt. I can either be a victim or the victor.”
The cancer has led to healing within his family. Since his parents’ divorce 10 years ago, Cory’s father and brother had not spoken to each other. They repaired their relationship enough to live in the same house until Cory’s brother moved out to help Cory through his treatment. Even Cory’s parents are communicating better.
Cory has been volunteering with the American Cancer Society and plans on accepting a position with the organization.