Boehm, Fleming pace Lily’s Hope 5K

November 12, 2017


Woman raises $13,000, shaves her head to support Lily
Lily to cancer: ‘I accept your challenge’

* Official results
* Video
* PHDC Facebook page
* Lily’s Hope Facebook page
* Permanent Lily’s Hope 5K event website

NEW MARKET, Md., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017 — Seventeen-year-old Paul Boehm, of Harleysville, Pa., led the field of 572 runners and walkers to the finish line of the Lily’s Hope 5K run/walk at the West Winds Tennis and Fitness Center in New Market, Maryland.

Boehm stopped the clock in 17 minutes, 51.4 seconds. Boehm was followed by Bryce Witmer, 16, of New Market, in 18:16.8. Victor Cretella, 47, of New Market, was third overall and the top Masters (40-plus) finisher in 18:35.1.

Kevin Spradlin photo Runners and walkers of the Lily's Hope 5K run/walk on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, were reminded about the reason for the event at the start/finish line.

Kevin Spradlin photo
Runners and walkers of the Lily’s Hope 5K run/walk on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, were reminded about the reason for the event at the start/finish line.

Stella Fleming, 15, of New Market, earned the women’s title with an effort of 21:36.9, good for 14th overall. Morgan Roberts, 10, of Mount Airy, was second (and 17th overall) in 21:55.7 and Jennifer Pitt, 41, of Sykesville, was crowned Masters champ (22:09).

Each of the 572 finishers — plus a few extras — were greeted at the finish line first by Frank Weaver, Lily’s father, with a high-five, hug or an encouraging shout.

Due to a snafu at the start line, official times are official, but not exactly exact. It’s estimated that between 40 seconds and a minute passed before the official clock began rolling. Regardless, that seemed to be a side issue as the bulk of the 728 registered participants were there for the 5K and silent auction to support 16-year-old Lily Weaver and her family. Lily, a high school junior who, at age 10, already beat cancer once. In August, she and her family received the news that the cancer was back. She offered a personal message to her friends who faced the start-time temperature of about 30 degrees:

Dear Cancer, she wrote, Oh, the things I have to say to you. You came into my life uninvited, at age 10. I was a different person then. I had a fear of needles, losing my hair, missing 5th grade, hospital stays, scans leaving my family for many, many nights in a row, and being different from all my friends. Throughout that year, I became a stronger person who beat cancer at age 10. 

I thought I did my time. I thought I had seen my fill of hospitals. I thought I had my fair share of IVs, I thought I was on my way to being a normal kid again. This past February, my family and friends threw me a surprise party for being 5 years cancer-free. And let me tell you, I was surprised. In April, I had clear scans and was headed to one-year scans.

But YOU, cancer, changed that in July for me. I should have worried about getting my license, my work schedule or the next sale at PacSun. Within two days, those worries were changed as I found out you, cancer, revealed yourself for the second time. You took away my freedom to start my junior year and talk to my friends in school. Now I talk with nurses and doctors in the hospital. You took away my hair. But now hair don’t care. You took away countless hours of sleep where nurses take my vitals, I am in pain, or I am worried about what’s coming up next. You’ve even taken away school events which I looked forward to. Now I look forward to clear scans and beating your butt again.

Although you have taken these and many things away from me, there is a list of things I will NEVER allow you to take.

One of the biggest being my personality, as I will always stay my bubbly, happy self through treatment and the tough days. Cancer, you WILL NOT be able to touch my love for my family, friends, and of course, Ariana Grande! You will not take away my long conversations with my sister, Grace, or endless amounts of fun with my brother, Frankie. I am grateful for my relationship with my parents as they are always by my side. You can’t touch my strong faith, which has only grown, thanks to you. My never-ending HOPE will never be taken away as I am supported by my friends, family, and our amazing community.

But most of all, cancer, I accept your challenge. This fight will NOT be over until I have won for the second time.

Lily Constance Weaver


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