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Shes running marathon for her cousin battling leukemia
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Mary Fitzpatrick is putting her endurance to the test as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training.

The 50-year-0ld Brentwood resident is currently in training to run a half-marathon for the June 26 LLS event in Seattle.

Fitzpatrick will compete in the cancer awareness run on behalf of her cousin, Victoria Martin.

She’s the McParland School parent and former yard supervisor battling cancer. Victoria and her husband, Jerry, or Jay, had a renewal of wedding vows ceremony last week made possible by the school’s Community Club and staff.

“I wish I could’ve been there,” Fitzpatrick said on Friday. “I had a Team In Training kickoff event that day.

“I did send them a (best wishes) card.”

For the past two weeks, Fitzpatrick has been on a six-day training schedule in preparation for the run while also working with a personal trainer. She’s been juggling the training around work – Fitzpatrick is a teacher for autistic youngsters – and that as a wife and mother.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” she added.

Fitzpatrick is bent on helping to stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and myeloma from taking more lives by raising funds as a Team In Training member.

“I’m sick of cancer hurting those close to me,” said Fitzpatrick, who counted at least four relatives and several friends stricken with the disease.

She considers herself among the lucky ones, having been diagnosed and successfully treated for cervical cancer.

Right now, Fitzpatrick has Victoria Martin on her mind.

“My cousin’s life will be cut short because of this dreaded cancer. I will be wearing her picture (on my race jersey) across the finish line,” she said.

Plans call for her to be joined by her friend, David Bevilacqua, who has been fighting Lymphoma for about three years, on the half-marathon.

“We’re hoping that he will have his last treatment and his cancer will be remission,” Fitzpatrick said.

Her 16-year-old daughter, Carin, is also planning to do the summer run in Seattle.

For the next five months, Fitzpatrick will continue through the training rigors in preparation for the long distance event while raising money for cancer research.

She’s hoping that folks in Manteca can help with the cause by making a donation.

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 To reach reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail