IDAHO FALLS– After being diagnosed with breast cancer twice and undergoing a single mastectomy, Annette Hiatt thought her battle with the ugly disease was over. Unbeknownst to her, the disease sat dormant in her body for 20 years. Then just over two years ago, she was diagnosed a third time.
“They said she had lung cancer,” Annette’s husband Mike Hiatt recalls. “We knew it was metastatic breast cancer. We just knew.”
Mike was right and the disease proved fatal as cancer spread throughout her body. Annette lost her battle on July 3.
“It’s been a precious journey, it really has,” Mike says.
Although her journey may have ended, her legacy lives on. Annette’s son Caleb Hiatt says his mom was an inspiration to so many others suffering the same illness, and because of that he wanted to do something big for her. So he organized the Thrivers’ Monster Mile, a race that will be held in Ammon next month.
“She had a profound effect on people because of how she lived. She was only supposed to live 6 to 12 months (after her final diagnosis),” Mike says, and she lived for 28 months.
She did this through social media groups. She taught friends online that life was a gift and that having cancer isn’t just a death sentence.
“These are people who are thriving on what life they have left. They want to live life to the fullest despite having a terminal illness,” Caleb says.
Caleb says he first had the idea to plan the Thrivers’ Monster Mile after running a 5K in Annette’s honor before her passing. Then he told his mom about wanting to plan a race for her.
“She said, ‘Well are you going to do it or are you not going to do it.’ That was really when I had to decide, am I going to make this a reality, is this really going to happen? and I said ‘I guess this is it,’” Caleb says. “We started that night.”
The more he planned, the more the race became a reality, pulling in local sponsors and runners from all over the country.
Funds raised for the race will go directly to research through METAvivor, a metastatic breast cancer research and support organization. Caleb says if you can’t physically be at the race, sign up for the virtual race and run at your own pace on your own time.
The Hiatt family is looking forward to the event in hopes this race will show women they can be a part of something bigger than themselves.
“She inspired hundreds if not thousands,” Mike says.
The race will be held at McCowin Park in Ammon October 12 at 9 a.m. To enter the race, click here.