Marshall County’s Fuqua inspires as she battles cancer
Coming off of a record setting sophomore season, Marshall County’s Alli Fuqua suffered a major setback in January 2013 after tearing her ACL.
“Running is my outlet for stress,” Fuqua said. “Knowing that I tore my ACL, I no longer had an outlet for stress.”
The biggest news however, came two weeks later. After a routine physical, doctors discovered a lump in her neck. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
“You don’t want to see that happen to anyone.” Marshall County track coach Cory Westerfield said. “Especially a young person with life in front of her.”
“I couldn’t wallow in that self pity any longer because it was getting me no where,” said Fuqua. “So I picked myself up because it was the only way I could get back.”
“It takes a lot of strength to get through that mentally and physically,” said teammate Melissa Ross. “But she never gave up.”
After months of treatment, she was cleared by doctors to run track for her senior season. Even though she hasn’t returned to the form she had in her sophomore year, teammates look up to her because of her determination and attitude.
“She can be an inspiration to anyone in school,” said teammate Stephanie Russell. “Having to deal with sports and academics at the same time. She came back from that.”:
“She weathered the storm,” Westerfield said. “She set an example for our kids on how to handle adversity.”
“To hear them say that I am an inspiration, it touches my heart,” said Fuqua. “Like maybe it was all worth it.”
Although she is still battling cancer, Alli continues to not let it get in the way of doing the sport she love.