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Runner Honors Father, Raises Thousands For Charity

Kyllian Warman is a rockstar fundraiser in honor of her father's passing.

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Kyllian Warman is a champion for St. Jude patients, raising thousands through running.

On April 25, 20-year-old Kyllian Warman will be in Nashville, Tenn., to run the St. Jude Country Music Marathon in memory of her father. Warman joined the track and field team in high school to cope with her dad battling the final stages of colon and liver cancer. Sadly, he died holding her hand when she returned home after attending her high school graduation.

“Life can cripple you,” she says. “Running got me through it.”

Her senior year of high school, Warman committed to running 2,012 miles in the year 2012. That included running 8 miles to and from school frequently. Eventually, she asked herself: What if I ran for a purpose greater than myself? What if I made this more meaningful by raising money for a charity? That’s when the Middleton, N.J., resident discovered the St. Jude Heroes program. St. Jude Heroes raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help ensure that families never receive a bill from St. Jude.

After high school, Warman passed on a college track scholarship and chose to channel her grief to help others. She lived temporarily in an orphanage in Africa where she overcame the language barrier to help the children in need—bringing her her own emotional healing.

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Warman now registers to run as a St. Jude Hero every time she runs a marathon and has already raised more than $100,000 for St. Jude kids! She has visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and formed friendships with patients. Additionally, she has interned in New York City for ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude that hosts local events and activities.

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When she’s not working, Warman works full-time for another nonprofit, attends community college full-time and works at a gym at night. Despite her packed schedule, the St. Jude hero is always thinking about how she can help others.

Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude Children’s Hospital, once said, “Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.” With this in mind, I think he would be especially proud of St. Jude Hero Kyllian Warman.