Surgery and marathon veteran
Posted on February 08 2017
“I had brain surgery in 1993 to remove a brain tumor from my right cerebellum. In December 2009, I was told that I had a tumor recurrence and two new tumors. I started running as an escape and ran my first half marathon in 2010. I continued my running journey until I had my second brain surgery to remove one of the tumors in 2012. I have continued running because, to me, running is a metaphor for life. In running, as in life, you gain strength from the challenges you face. Running continues to help me both physically and mentally get through the challenges of living with VHL. Within my own family, I come from a legacy of VHL WARRIORS, including my dad, uncle, cousin and most recently my brother, who have lost their lives to this disease. Von Hippel-Lindau is a genetic condition. Having an alteration in the VHL gene is what is known as a predisposition factor to certain kinds of tumors, including some specific cancers. My running journey has been such an amazing experience. It truly has given me strength and often is therapy. In 2015, I suffered a ‘moderate’ heart attack during a race. I was rushed to the hospital, and a stent was put in. The heart attack put an end to my 557-day running streak, but in the end I was able to concentrate on my health and achieve my goal of representing the VHL community in the 2016 Boston Marathon.”- HOKA Fan Shawn Mastrantonio
Shawn’s favorite shoe is the Clifton 3.