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“Surviving wasn’t enough – I wanted to conquer”

July 6, 2011

Keely Dekoskie conquered stage 3 colon cancer at 34 years old. In May, seven months after being labeled in remission, she conquered her first half marathon. Two weeks ago, just 1.5 years after being diagnosed, she ran the 2011 Denver Undy 5000 and raised $5,125 to help fight colon cancer. Impressive, right?

Keely, husband Steve, and 3-year-old Donovan

Keely’s team, “Kiss My Asphalt!” (which she said was a name thrown out by her friend Tasha as a response to the disease) helped raise an additional $2,020 for a grand total of $7,145 for the Undy 5000. The team made T-shirts (below), incorporating the mountains and running. And if you look closely, in the bottom left of the circle and above the sidewalk, the initials “GJA” are written out, an homage to a friend of Keely’s who passed away from colon cancer.

All 14 members of the team have in some way been affected by colon cancer, she said, whether it was through her connection or another family member or friend.

She said while she was going through chemotherapy and radiation, she tried to live as normal a life as possible, and while it was no longer about fighting day-to-day for her survival, it became more about getting back to a healthy and fit point.

“My idea of conquering was not letting the disease take anything more from me than I had any choice in,” Keely said. “I have a three-year-old, Donovan. When I was going through treatment, I got pity looks. For me, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. He was instant inspiration, and it made it easier in a lot of ways.”

Donovan, donning the team sign, some awesome shades and a juice box.

Keely said the diagnosis came as a shock to her since there was no family history of colon cancer at all. To ease the burden of calling and explaining the whole situation to family and friends, Keely decided to start a blog where she could share her successes and stories.  To read more about her courageous fight and diagnosis, you can view her blog here:

As for her fundraising super powers, Keely said the key was just leveraging her networks. She said she also made it a point during her year of treatment to never pull the cancer card. But by reaching out and asking people to support her, the cause and her team, she said the response was overwhelming. After sending out just a couple of emails and Facebook messages (she expected to them to join her in their underwear on June 25!), she received quite an outpouring of support. Even her VP responded and said yes, and he also donated to her.

Last year, Keely was in the midst of treatment and too sick to run in the Undy 5000. This year, not only did she run it, she told it to …

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2012 2:19 am

    It’s really a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.


  1. Regional Race Preview: Denver Undy Run - Colorado Runner : Colorado Runner

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