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Cyril cancer survivor continuing to beat the odds

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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CYRIL, Okla. (KSWO) - A cancer survivor from Cyril is now a National Champion.

Vanda Edmondson took home two medals at the Toughman Triathlon in New York.

She’ll now be apart of Team USA for the seventh year in a row!

Edmondson won the Olympic Distance Athena Aqua bike race and the Long Distance Aqua bike race. Swimming for a total of 2.2 miles and biking for 81 miles.

Edmondson said in high school she played every sport she could, but after graduation she became inactive, picking up on bad eating habits, and not working out. In 2009, she was diagnosed with stage three Colon Cancer.

“I had surgery and did six months of chemo. I kind of made a promise to myself then while I was taking the chemo that I would do whatever I need to do to get healthy. Right after chemo, I started running, and it might just be a couple hundred yards a day until I built up to do a 5K.”

Once she completed her first 5K she wanted to do something bigger.

So, she trained and competed in a half ironman triathlon, that only fueled her to do a full ironman triathlon.

“So in 2015, I did Ironman Cozumel. Ironman is you swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, and then you run a full 26.2 marathon after that, and you have to finish in 17-hours or it’s like you didn’t do it,” Edmondson said.

That landed Edmondson a spot on Team USA, allowing her to showcase her talent in Chicago, California, Canada, Spain, Italy, and many other places in the world.

Edmondson’s best friend Terri Haworth has been with her every step of the way to help keep her going.

“I train with her. We keep each other accountable on eating and things like that. Just keeping each other going, pushing us to the hardest we can go that’s really how it works,” Haworth said.

Edmondson said having a great support team is definitely what motivates her, but she leans on God for the most part.

“I’m a person of faith, and I think that Romans 8:28 says that “All things work for good for those who love the lord.” I think that he gives us the desires of our heart, and the desire of my heart is to go out and race and have a good time and win. I’ve always said I’m here to have fun and losing isn’t fun, so I just want to have fun and be a good example, and win when I can,” Edmondson said.

Edmondson says anyone who’s beat cancer or any other illness can do whatever they put their mind to.

She will compete in a Standard Distance Aqua bike race for Team USA which will be in held in Abu Dhabi in 2022.

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