Reporter: Mark Kelly l Photojournalist: Sally Delta
Lynchburg, VA - It's a story showing all of us need a helping hand along the way. We first introduced you to Stephanie Deasy back in October. At the time, she was battling stage four lung cancer and her health was getting worse. But she made a big promise to herself. Now, cancer free and feeling better, she's ready to fulfill that promise.
In the midst of battling lung cancer, Deasy vowed to compete in the Angels Race in Lynchburg. Well, that race is this Sunday, and she'll be in it. But, she could not have done it without an angel of her own
Hard to believe Stephanie Deasy playing basketball in her driveway could hardly walk just months ago.
"I went from running to barely walking to the mailbox," said Deasy. "I never saw myself as a sick person."
But she was. And as her body changed and her hair thinned, her goal stayed strong: she would bike the Angels Race Triathlon in April.
"I just had to have a goal ahead of me, because I knew I wouldn't feel like that forever," said Deasy.
Friend Tracy White knew Deasy's goal.
"When she decided in October that the Angels Race would be her goal, I first said 'we'll get a group together and we'll do it in your honor.' She first said 'no. I'm going to do it,'' said White.
But, every destination has a bump along the way. Deasy's bump was that once the cancer cleared and she felt good to race, the sign-up sheet was full.
"So I said to Tracy, 'O, well, it's not meant to be.' She said, 'wait, wait, I just got an email today,'" said Deasy.
An email that Bill Johnson's company, investment firm Robert W. Baird, would sponsor Deasy. Lung cancer took Johnson's brother's life.
"When I learned of Stephanie's condition, it was easy, it was a lay-up to say, 'Gosh, I'd love to see her run the race in honor of my brother,'" said Johnson.
"He wanted his sponsors slot to go to someone most deserving of what the spirit of the Angels Race is about. And he said, 'I can't think of a better fit than to have Steph do that race,'" said White.
Deasy's two sons will compete with her too.
April's a big month for Deasy. She competes in the triathlon on Sunday then hopes to get back to work next week.