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Cancer patient set to run NYC Marathon with doctor who helped save her life

Cancer patient set to run NYC Marathon with doctor who helped save her life

When Rose Maxfield runs the New York City Marathon on Sunday, she’ll have oncologist Dr. Allison Betof Warner running right beside her.

Maxfield, 56, loves to run, but was sidelined a week before last Christmas with severe stomach pain.

She went to the emergency room thinking it was appendicitis and was told it was liver cancer.

Maxfield decided to seek a second opinion at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

where she met Betof Warner and learned she actually had stage 4 melanoma, a type of skin tumor
that had spread to her liver and metastasized to her peritoneum, the lining of her abdomen, and her spine.

When Maxfield first met Dr. Betof Warner, she said the oncologist made her feel at ease and hopeful.

When Maxfield first met Dr. Betof Warner, she said the oncologist made her feel at ease and hopeful.

As she processed her diagnosis, Maxfield said she worried about not being around for her children and missing their life milestones.

She also wondered how fighting the disease would get in the way of running, which she said had been a “core” part of her lifestyle.

Betof Warner knows the benefits of running firsthand. She’s a former marathoner who decided to quit running after 11 ankle surgeries.

Dr. Betof Warner stopped running after 11 ankle surgeries

but said the pain she might feel running again on Sunday is small in comparison to what her patients endure.

“I promised her when I met her that we would get her back to running as soon as we could.

That was a huge part of her life and something that she was really missing,” Betof Warner told NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren on Weekend TODAY.

The two formed a bond and during their visits

Maxfield recalled how her doctor would ask how her running was going and if she was keeping up her mileage.

“I jokingly said to her, ‘You know, when you’re feeling better, we’ll run a race together,’ thinking we would run a 5K,” Betof Warner recalled.

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At 70 years old, Leroy Cummins is ready for his 1st NYC marathon Maxfield had something bigger in mind. With her treatments going well.

she started to train for the New York City Marathon.

“Running got me through this. Running kept me happy, positive and feeling like I wasn’t a cancer patient.

That I was just Rose,” she said.

Running was always an important part of Maxfield’s lifestyle, an activity she had in common with Dr. Betof Warner.

Running was always an important part of Maxfield’s lifestyle, an activity she had in common with Dr.
Betof Warner couldn’t say no.

“When a patient asks you to run a marathon, you say yes,” she said.

“Some ankle pain is honestly just nothing compared to what my patients live with.”

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Maxfield and Dr. Betof Warner are both running the New York City Marathon and raising money for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

which Maxfield credits with saving her life.

Maxfield and Dr. Betof Warner are both running the New York City Marathon and raising money for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

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Maxfield said there are “so many reasons” why she’s honored to have Betof Warner running next to her on Sunday.

“She fuels my spirit to run even harder, faster — because of all her injuries and all of what she’s going into this race with.

so many hurdles. And God bless her, because I can’t believe it. She’s just my hero.”

Maxfield added, “(I) just wanted her to do this with me and celebrate.

because everything Memorial Sloan Kettering has done for me … They’ve saved my life.”

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