Local woman's team raises largest amount of money for Sunday's Nike Women's Half-Marathon

(WJLA) - A local woman has taken her recent cancer diagnosis and turned it into a $70,000 fundraiser.

Lynne O'Brien is training for this Sunday's Nike Women's Half-Marathon.

The race benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - an organization near and dear to O'Brien's heart.

"I was diagnosed with CLL - which is a kind of leukemia," O'Brien explained. "I know one of the symptoms is fatigue. So I said I want to do some sort of endurance to prove to myself that I am healthy."

O'Brien's mother-in-law lost her battle to leukemia a few years ago, and she lost her grandmother to the disease at age 10.

She and her team of 35 will knock out 13.1 miles each across the city on Sunday morning - hoping that with each step taken, and each dollar raised, a cure for cancer will be that much closer.

"It's just been a very therapeutic thing for me; also, because, I really didn't talk to anyone about the illness and this has sort of been a way to talk to my children, and talk to my friends, and just to learn more," she said.

The Nike Women's Marathon series is one of LLS' biggest fundraisers. It's the second year the race has been held here, in the nation's capital.

More than 15,000 women - and a few men - will be running this weekend. O'Brien told ABC7 she's thankful for all of them.

"It's very empowering.," she said. "Just to see all these women getting in shape, running this distance - or walking - its really uplifting."