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Running helps Tyler breast cancer survivor cope with diagnosis

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TYLER (KYTX) - After a breast cancer diagnosis, exercise may be the furthest thing from some people's minds, but some studies suggest it's exactly what you need. One study shows that cancer patients who took a 30-minute brisk walk, several times a week improved their chances of survival.  In our Fit City Success story, a cancer survivor found strength in running.

The Tyler Komen Race for the Cure is this weekend. There will be a lot of breast cancer survivors proudly pounding that pavement.  That's something Lisa Weitzman Smith decided she needed to do after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

'It is one of the only things I try to do for myself, because a lot of the other time is family, work," says Lisa Weitzman Smith. 

Lisa Weitzman Smith actually began running after having children. She's run half marathons and marathons.  Back then, Lisa had no idea how therapeutic running outdoors would become.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer a year and a half ago.

"Running was the way I coped with it. After chemo, I would go on runs or walks with friends. Whatever I could handle that day. I just had to get out there and do something. It helped me mentally and physically," says Lisa Weitzman Smith. 

With a weakened immune system at the time, there wasn't a lot Lisa could do, but her doctor gave her the green light to walk or run, outside with friends.  Those friends helped Lisa as she bravely battled breast cancer and so did the exercise.

Lisa encourages other women and men to talk to their doctors about exercising during cancer treatments and how it might help them during the healing process, mentally and physically.

As for Lisa, she's gearing up for another half marathon to help children waging the war on cancer at St. Jude's

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