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Finding the positive in something negative can be very challenging for some, but for 23-year-old Gruver girl, Kellyn King, that is exactly what she did. With the help of the communities of Guymon and Gruver, as well as surrounding areas, she will be carrying the names of those impacted by cancer with her as she challenges herself in a 5k Run next month.
Kellyn was diagnosed with Celiac Disease last year, and has made life-altering changes to her every day diet and exercise, and in the meantime has the opportunity to make a touching impact for a very worthy cause.
Due to the diagnosis of Celiac Disease, which is described as damaged lining of the small intestine which prevents it from absorbing the parts of the food that are actually important for your bodyâs health, Kellyn took on a healthier lifestyle to help manage her symptoms.
Kellyn says hers isnât the worst case of the disease that can be had, but it has completely changed her diet and lifestyle with a gluten free diet. She said it was hard for her to take on this diet, being a country girl who always had grains and named pasta as her favorite food. The disease doesnât have a cure, but her symptoms are manageable with a good diet and exercise every day, so she no longer has to take medication. Even with the rough diet and exercise every day, she looks on the bright side.
âItâs amazing how the word âdiseaseâ can enter your life and it feels like your whole world is falling apart,â said Kellyn, âbut I didnât allow myself to have that outlook on it. If this the only physical ailment that I have to live with in my life, then I am very fortunate.â
Kellynâs intensive exercise lead her to do something that will truly honor and memorialize some very special people.
She signed up to do a 5K Dirty Girl Mud Run, complete with 11 military-inspired obstacles throughout it. This run is for women only of all ages and athletic ability, and will definitely be no easy task.
âIâd been wanting to challenge myself and my body for a while to go outside my comfort zone and to do something to this extent,â Kellyn said.
As she was looking at a fitness magazine one day, she came across an ad for the Mud Run and decided from then it was something she wanted to do. They are held all through the United States, but she chose to do the one that will be held in Las Vegas, Nev. on Feb. 23 this year.
Kellyn was able to recruit her aunt and two cousins to join her on this adventure.
âWe get to come together as a family and conquer as a team,â said Kellyn.
Not only is she taking on this challenge, but she is using this opportunity in hopes to make a difference. Kellyn has two trees placed in different locations in Gruver and in Guymon, and on them are lavender ribbons bearing the names of those who have been impacted by any kind of cancer.
âThe tree to me, is symbolic of life and all the ribbons that hang from the two trees are people that have been greatly impacted by this horrible thing called cancer,â Kellyn said. âWe are asking that if you have someone who is dear to your heart thatâs been affected by cancer in any way, past or present, to please give a donation and write their name on one of our lavender ribbons.â
She said that they want to acknowledge those who have fought so hard and will do this by pinning all of the ribbons placed on the trees to the back of the t-shirts they wear during the Mud Run.
âWe want to carry them (people on the ribbons) through the race with us,â Kellyn said.
There are two trees, and this week one is located in Gruver at the Night & Day Beauty Shop, and next week it will be at Gypsies Lamps, & Beads next to the Gruver Post Office. The other tree is in Guymon and is located at ADM Grain office where Kellynâs mother works for the remainder of the week, and next week it will be placed at Merle Norman.
They are encouraging anyone who has been impacted by someone with cancer to take the time to write their name on one of the ribbons for the trees, and the donation amount isnât specific so it can be as much or as little as anyone desires.
âThose peopleâs names that are hanging on those trees have endured more pain than I can ever imagine,â said Kellyn, âand so if someone only has $1 to give in honor or in memory of a loved one, then God bless them for their giving heart. The dollar amount makes absolutely no difference to me and no matter how many ribbons we have, we will honor them.â
Kellyn and her team have been posting updates on on their facebook page which can be found under the name âBustinâ Ours To Save Yours: Dirty Damselsâ and they include the treesâ locations so everyone is aware of where they are and keep everyone updated on the progress for the run.
Kellyn believes they have approximately 30 ribbons at the moment and will be glad with however many they end up getting.
The team name they came up with âDirty Damsels-Bustinâ Ours to Save Yoursâ has a special meaning behind it for Kellyn.
âThe name means that we are busting our butts every day to live a healthy lifestyle and workout in order to participate in these kind of events and hopefully be a part of saving someoneâs life in the long run with the money we raise for the run,â Kellyn said. âIâve been blessed with a very healthy body and I plan to better myself in hopes to keep participating in these events in honor or in memory of those who arenât so fortunate.â
For more information on where the trees will be placed in Guymon or in Gruver, or to donate to the cause, look Kellyn and her team up on their facebook page at www.facebook.com/BustinOursToSaveYours and feel free to stop by any of the tree locations.