Why This Teen Cancer Survivor Ran A Marathon In A Cinderella Gown

Why This Teen Cancer Survivor Ran A Marathon In A Cinderella Gown

Maggie Ryan

Once upon a time, there was a runner in England, who paired her sneaks with a Cinderella gown for the best reason ever.

After 12 years in remission, Katy Miles recently ran her first half-marathon to raise awareness (and money) for the cancer she battled as a toddler.

photo: David Simpson

At age four, Katy was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumor, a type of kidney cancer. At first, doctors dismissed her symptoms as constipation. But her mother, Louise, wasn’t convinced.

“I just had a feeling that something else was wrong and kept going back until she was sent for a scan,” Louise told the U.K. non-profit Teenage Cancer Trust. “I can remember looking on the screen, seeing a huge tumor, and knowing this was serious.”

photo: Louise Miles

During treatments, Louise rewarded Katy with princess costumes if she agreed to take her foul-tasting medicines daily. Eventually Katy started dressing up like Cinderella, her favorite princess, during her chemo appointments.

Years later, Katy signed up for the Great North Run when she turned 17, the minimum age requirement. The Great North Run is one of the largest half-marathons in the world. It takes place in northern England, and the race course was even near Katy’s oncologist’s office.

To raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, Katy donned her Cinderella gown and laced up her running shoes to run with her father, who’s done the race before. Overall, the teen raised around $1,629 and even had a Cinderella moment herself.

At mile three, Katy almost lost her shoe. Fortunately, she was able to keep it on, and crushed the last 10.2 miles with fans cheering “Go, Cinderella!”

Next year, Katy plans to run the race again, in costume, and raise even more cash. While Katy doesn’t know if she’ll don her Cinderella gown again, we do know that she’ll be an inspiration for both people battling cancer and cancer survivors everywhere.