Marion L. Steele students Run for Erica - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Marion L. Steele students Run for Erica

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Marion L. Steele 2010 grad Erica Kelly is in remission from cancer. Marion L. Steele 2010 grad Erica Kelly is in remission from cancer.
She attends OSU where she remains active in collegiate sports. She attends OSU where she remains active in collegiate sports.
The Run for Erica took place during the 59th Annual Comet Relays. The Run for Erica took place during the 59th Annual Comet Relays.
AMHERST, OH (WOIO) -

Erica Kelly has had many victories in her career as a track and cross country runner but her latest win is no doubt her biggest. 

The 2010 Amherst Steele graduate and Ohio State senior triumphed in round No. 1 against cancer. She is in remission against acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL. 

She returned home from Ohio State University Hospitals earlier this week where she underwent chemotherapy. 

ALL is the most common childhood cancer, although it can occur in adults. It is caused by an increase in white blood cells called lymphocytes and occurs when abnormal cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control. 

The Amherst Steele track team organized a charity walk event to help Kelly that took place at Saturday, April 26 during intermission at the 59th annual Comet Relays. 

"Erica first started noticing symptoms in the fall," said Amherst girls cross country coach Terry Kemp. "She's been very active in running since going to Ohio Sate after graduating from Amherst." 

Kelly is finishing up her second term as President of the Ohio Sate Running Club. She is the women's captain for the club team and a track and field middle distance coach.

She will graduate May 4. A biology major, Kelly has applied to medical school and would like to be a sports medicine doctor.

"(Coach) Rob Glatz and (assistant) Kelly (Bruenig) have really taken this on," said Kemp. "It's very nice to see. We're making a point to get out alumni back and be part of things like this."

Kelly has competed in cross country and track since seventh grade. She was a four-year varsity athlete for the Comets and has been a middle distance runner for the club team.

"Erica is a special kid," said Kemp. "She's one in a million. I had her in class. Brilliant student. Character is off the charts. Her sophomore year she broke her heel in anchor leg of the district 3,200 meter relay race and still finished the race. We came in fifth. Erica's in tears not because of the injury but because she didn't run fast enough in the anchor to get them to regionals. That's the kind of kid she is." 

Kelly lost her father at age eight to a brain tumor. Her brother, Scott, is a freshman on the Steele team.

Story submitted by Paul Heyse from Elyria Chronicle. ctsports@chronicle.com

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