Mother/son to race for loved ones at Marathon

Posted at 2:45 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 19:50:05-04

At the Lincoln Half Marathon on Sunday, a mother and son from Omaha will be running in honor of those they love and hoping to raise awareness for Project Purple. Project Purple's mission is to beat pancreatic cancer. 

Elli Zadina lost her mother to pancreatic cancer a few years ago. Within the past year, she learned her father also has the disease. 

Zadina has been active in raising awareness and funds for Project Purple for years. She continues that mission. And this year she'll have support by her side. Her 12-year-old son Micah will also be running the 13.1 miles in honor of his grandma and grandpa. 

Pancreatic cancer is often referred to as the silent killer. 

Zadina said, "By the time most people are diagnosed, 95 percent of people won't make it five years. Most are stage 4 with no symptoms until it's too late."

Zadina was shocked when she received the news about her father after losing her mother. "It was just like this has to be a nightmare. I mean to have one parent go through it and then so soon after a second I just kept thinking there's no possible way this can be right."

Gary Erickson, Zadina's father, is undergoing chemotherapy. "We keep fighting, one day at a time that's just that way they say to do it," Erickson said.

He says he is incredibly proud of his daughter. They are both proud that Micah decided he would also train and run the half marathon this year. 

Project Purple is the official charity of the Lincoln Marathon this year. If you would like to donate to the cause or Elli and Micah, there are links below. 

Elli Zadina's page

Project Purple Fundraising Page