Athlete Of The Month

Marathon Runner

Head News Anchor for Birmingham, Alabama
ABC 33/40


Brenda Ladun

Behind The Scenes of Breast Cancer
By Brenda Ladun
(ABC Head News Anchor, Birmingham, Alabama)

Brenda Ladun is one of the head news anchors for our local station, ABC 33/40.  She has three sons, Brooks,Garret, and Gabby.  Her husband, Doug Bell,

has his own golf show called Tee Time.  Brenda first found out she had Breast Cancer in 2001.  She had to undergo both chemo and radiation treatments.  While she

had endless support and encouragement from her family and friends, running with her girlfriends was a way for her to get away from it all, an out from all the pain.  A few

years later she wrote a book called Getting Better, Not Bitter, which is a great inspirational book for anyone to read.  I really enjoyed reading it myself, along with her other

book that came out recently called Behind the Scenes of Breast Cancer. 

Brenda recently found out she had a recurrence of the cancer.  She has finished chemo treatments and is now doing her radiation treatment. 

Brenda has contributed so much to the fight against cancer.  She has given speeches, participated in cancer runs, started her own cancer run, won a Life Inspiration award

from the American Cancer Society, and so much more.  She is a great inspiration to me and I'm sure she is to others, including her children.  She is truly one of the strongest people I've met.

Keep fighting, girl!  Psalm 144:1-2

Love ya,
Alex Avram

Check out Brenda's web site @



The Interview...

1. When did you first start running and how long thereafter was it before you entered your first marathon?

[Brenda Ladun]  I ran track in high school but it was never a passion until after cancer.  After that it became a

way to destress.  It was a way to clear my mind.  Less than a year after surgery and chemo I ran my first marathon in 6 and a half years I have run 5 and a half marathons.   


2.  You have recently been diagnosed with a re-occurrence of Breast Cancer.  Will your running be effected in the

same way as before and how will you cope this time around?

[Brenda Ladun]   The only reason my running has been effected is because of the elective surgery I had which by God's grace

helped me find this little bit of cancer very early.  I am walking though and plan to begin running in the coming weeks.  


3.  Your first book was titled Getting Better Not Bitter.  How do you keep from being bitter that cancer

treatments take you away from the sport you so very much love? 

[Brenda Ladun] God is allowing me to live and be with the people I love. I don't want to waste a day on bitterness

when the alternative... which is love...  is so much better.    


4.  Do you think you will ever enter another race?

[Brenda Ladun]   Yes, the Brenda Ladun Conquor Cancer run in January is my goal... it's 5 miles. 

Is there any particularmarathon with which you would like to participate that you have never entered? 

[Brenda Ladun] Hawaii, Virginia Beach, and Pheonix. 

If so, tell us about it and what type of training would it take for you to be physically ready?

[Brenda Ladun]  Working from 3 miles up to 20 miles in a single run over the course of about six months.   


5. Who is the most famous athlete you admire the most and why?

[Brenda Ladun]  Right now it's Brett Farve.  He is a national favorite. But recently I got a chance to introduce his

wife Deanna at a book convention.  She'd had breast cancer. She has an incredible faith and hearing her speak echoed how

I had felt through cancer.  She brought tears to my eyes.  I also admire Brett for his committment to getting the job done but also his

integrity, and committment to Deanna. He sets a great role model for other husbands who don't know how to help their loved ones

through cancer. Brett scores a touch down and doesnt' forget his heart, he blows a kiss to Deanna. He's the best quarterback in

the nation and a great husband too.   


6.  Every sport has something special to offer it's participants.  What do you feel sets running apart from other sports?

[Brenda Ladun]   running is free usually, you can do it just about anywhere, it helps just about every part of the body from

the core muscles to the legs and even the arms. The cardio benefit is up to you... you can push

as hard as your want to or you are able.   


7.  What do you personally love most about running?

[Brenda Ladun]  The freedom of running is great, being outside on an early winter morning... when it's still dark

outside and I'm just waking up... even though my legs are moving and I can see the moon and stars move away

to the dawn.  It's a great way to start the day.   


8.  What advice would you offer to other runners who may be facing Breast Cancer or any other health issues that may

temporarily take them away from the sport they love?

[Brenda Ladun]   Be patient, know God is in control and His plan is ultimately the best one.  He loves all of us and

wants the best for us. Usually when we submit to His plan things start working out just fine.   


9.  What advice would you offer to anyone who would like to start training to run marathons and are you ever too old to get started?

[Brenda Ladun]  Start slowly... walking is the best way to start.;... then job a few yards and build

from their.  Listen to your body. Remember you can

walk run marathons if you want to... or you can just run!