Champion distance runner’s death “a stark warning”

Australia’s Kerryn McCann, who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games, died of cancer late Sunday evening at the age of 41.
McCann’s disease began as a breast malignancy, but she ultimately succumbed to complications from secondary cancer in her liver and brain.
One of the most accomplished Australian distance runners ever, McCann, sadly, is reported to have done nothing for three months after discovering a lump in her breast last year. At the time she first detected a problem, she was three months pregnant with her third child, Cooper. When she was at sixth months’ gestation, the lump was obviously growing rapidly and McCann could no longer ignore it. Early labor was induced so that McCann could begin chemotherapy immediately.
In May of this year, McCann announced that the cancer had spread.
Mammography is evidently not as sensitive in women under 40, and breast cancer tends to be more aggressive in younger women. As a result, McCann’s inaction was especially grave.
McCann also competed in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic Marathons. The 2000 Games were in Sydney, and competing in her home country, McCann placed a strong 11th.

  1. #1 by hopper3011 on December 10, 2008 - 5:08 am

    It’s a damn shame.
    The McCann – Cherono duel in Melbourne was simply the best marathon race I have ever seen – bar none.

  2. #2 by Bob Cook on December 17, 2008 - 1:15 pm

    Yes this is tragic. Her family will miss her dearly and the sport of Marathon racing has lost a great competitor. It is so sad to see she ignored the early signs. My mother passed from breast cancer that if she didn’t ignore the early “lump” she would be with us today.

  3. #3 by Angie Cronin on December 17, 2008 - 4:41 pm

    It is sad and devastating news, but that’s not to say that she ignored the signs. As a mother, we will do anything to protect our children, born or unborn. Perhaps her inaction, was indeed “action”, in that she did not want to undergo chemotherapy treatment as it could have harmed her unborn son–Cooper. May she rest in peace and may her family know that she made a sacrifice, her well-being was second to her son’s.

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