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Merrimack Valley

June 24, 2014

Keane learns to overcome

Pelham woman who lost arm to cancer as a child knows meaning of determination

Even the most avid runners need a little inspiration now and then.

The joys of running aren’t so evident when the muscles are aching on a regular basis, a part of the body is injured, the weather is miserable or training runs have become dull and monotonous.

At times like these, everyone could use a boost of inspiration, or at least an emotional boost from a fellow runner.

Fortunately, members of the Merrimack Valley Striders don’t need to look far to get such a lift. They’ll find it with their secretary, 54-year-old Adrienne Keane of Pelham.

Keane just began running in 2011, but she’s already run four marathons and discovered that everything doesn’t go smoothly. There are usually bumps and bruises along the way.

But Keane has almost effortlessly overcome anything that has stood in her way since running became her passion. Of course, based on what she endured as a youngster, training problems are a piece of cake.

Diagnosed with bone cancer when just 8-years-old, Keane had her right arm amputated with virtually no time to prepare for it.

“I remember being in the hospital and waking up the next day without my arm,” said Keane. “Things were different back then. They didn’t tell me and I’m not sure they even told my parents what was happening.”

That’s not the kind of thing an 8-year-old should need to deal with but, in the long run, it taught her about overcoming obstacles. It’s a subject she spoke about at a Striders meeting last month honoring youngsters who had won scholarships from the club.

“I spoke about overcoming adversity to do what you want to do,” said Keane, who works for Collaborative Consulting out of Burlington. “I talked about some of the adversity I had to overcome because of my cancer.

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