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First-Time Marathoner Has Inspirational Story

Photo Of Merri Lazenby (Bank Of America Chicago Marathon Photo)

Photo Of Merri Lazenby (Bank Of America Chicago Marathon Photo)

miller250 Steve Miller
Steve Miller is an investigative reporter and has been with Newsradio...
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CHICAGO (WBBM) – 45,000 runners are expected to be on the 26-mile course Sunday for the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

WBBM’s Steve Miller has the story of one runner who’s hardly an also-ran, even before the runners start.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller Reports

This is the first marathon for 38-year-old Merri Lazenby, a nurse who runs and trains in the far western suburbs.

One year ago, she offered to do something to help a security guard at the hospital where she worked.

“I think most of the people I work with at the hospital would say I’m just plain crazy, but the words really truly tumbled out of my mouth.”

“It was October 2 of last year, I donated my kidney to a security guard at the hospital.”

“Part of it was instinctual. I’m a nurse and I’m a fixer. So, ‘Ray, if all you need is a kidney, I’ve got two. God gave me two. I can share.'”

A year later, she – and the security guard she didn’t even know all that well – are doing fine.

And on Sunday, in her first marathon, Merri Lazenby is running to help a pediatric cancer foundation called Cal’s Angels – because another co-worker’s son has had cancer.

“I thought, if I can do something to help my friend Laura, that’s something I can do. Because there’s a lot of Lauras out there.”

And Lazenby thinks the date is auspicious.

“Barring any major issues at the marathon, I should have a finisher’s medal that will forever have 10-10-10 engraved on it, with my name on it. Which will be pretty cool.”

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.