Sonya Rae Evans of West Union, has been chosen as a recipient for a Spirit Award by the Nationwide Columbus Children’s Hospital. The awards are given to individuals for their bravery and perseverance.
Evans, and nine other award recipients will be recognized at the start line of the 36th annual Columbus Marathon and ½ Marathon sponsored by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital-Columbus.
Evans began running nearly ten years ago and quickly became a fan of the sport, “It’s the kind of the thing you can get addicted to pretty quickly,” said Evans. She runs with several other team members.
In January of 2013, Sonya learned she had stage 3, non-small cell lung cancer. Sixteen months after completing her radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Sonya ran in the 2014 Flying Pig Half Marathon.
Sonya’s tumor has stopped growing but it is inoperable.
She attributes her determination and strength to God and God’s healing powers. According to her nomination, “Sonya sees the world with such gratitude and grace and is an inspiration to all who know her.”
According to a report released by Children’s Hospital, Columbus, they will spotlight the ten runners and walkers, out of a field of 19,000, who have overcome enormous obstacles to train for and participate in the races.
The winners will receive a special invitation to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon VIP event the Friday of Race Weekend, and will be recognized at the start line for their accomplishments. The marathon will be held on Sunday, Oct. 18.
Evans says she had always wanted to run a full marathon, but was unable to convince her teammates to join her. After becoming sick she put the idea on the back burner while she endured the long months of treatment.
The Columbus race is the first full marathon Evans has run, “I’m looking forward to it,” she said, “I’m really happy to have my team running with me, we’re all going to do it together for the first time.”
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Nationwide Children’s Hospital is the beneficiary of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon.
The fundraising effort helps provide every child with the highest quality of care, regardless of the child’s diagnosis or the family’s ability to pay.