When Kenneth Todd asked his surgeon how the removal of his left lung would affect his daily activities, the surgeon told him he could do everything except run a marathon. Mr. Todd, who had never previously been a runner, decided he had a new goal. In 2006, the year he lost his lung due to carcinoid cancer, Mr. Todd vowed to run a marathon a year after recovering from his surgery. In March 2007 he completed a half marathon, The Corporate Cup in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a time of 2 hours, 12 minutes and 30 seconds. And he hasn’t stopped running since. On June 5, 2010, he ran in the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, finishing 3,402 among more than 30,000 runners. He completed the 26 mile course in 4 hours and 39 minutes.
Mr. Todd was in California, along with his colleagues from Food Lion in Salisbury, North Carolina, to attend the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ conference. The 33 year old has been an employee of Food Lion since 1993. He is currently the company’s Manager-Beauty. Food Lion LLC is one of the largest supermarket chains in the United States, operating 1,300 supermarkets, either directly or through affiliated entities, under the names of Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar, Harveys and Reid’s. The company employs 73,000 associates in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
In 2007, when Mr. Todd and five of his colleagues from Food Lion ran in the 19th Annual Keybank Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Vermont, Mr. Todd chose to raise funds for The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation because he was able to gather a significant amount of information about his cancer from the Foundation’s Web site, http://www.carcinoid.org. While a great deal of money is allocated to research for more common types of cancers, he wanted to see additional funds going toward research of his rare cancer, with the goal of preventing it in the future. Over $1,000 in donations were made to the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation in honor of Mr. Todd’s participation in his first full marathon.
Mr. Todd says that he feels “very fortunate to have received treatment” for his cancer and he celebrates his health by running in marathons. “I have one lung and I’ve gotten through cancer; I hope to be an inspiration for others.”