GPS Guide: Jan Morrow, Runner, Recovers And Celebrates Life (PHOTOS)

04/05/2013 08:29 am ET | Updated Apr 05, 2013

The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life -- and your well-being -- off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

Jan Morrow, 56, has always been active. She grew up on a farm in North Carolina where running around and playing outdoors was a way of life. Jan’s love of exercise led to a life-long love affair with running. By her 50th birthday, Jan had successfully completed three marathons and competed in countless road races.

Then in 2008 during a routine workout, Jan noticed her legs and ankles were swollen. After performing a battery of tests, doctors diagnosed Jan with amyloidosis –- a rare blood disorder that usually affects men in their 60s. The amyloidosis had destroyed Jan’s kidneys resulting in renal failure. As it turned out, Jan’s legs had swelled because her body was no longer able to remove fluid. As Jan processed this information, an additional scan revealed she also had a cancerous tumor in her lung.

Jan spent weeks in the hospital unable to run or work out, but she was determined to get healthy again after her treatments. Surgery removed her cancer, medication helped with her amyloidosis and dialysis replaced her kidney function. Unfortunately, her lengthy, three-times-a-week dialysis treatments at Jan’s local center left her weak and unable to run or exercise. After two years on in-center dialysis, Jan learned about a portable home hemodialysis machine (NxStage System One) that would enable her to dialyze more frequently and at home on her own schedule. Jan received training and soon took the machine home. Throughout the next few weeks, Jan started to feel like her old self again. The more frequent treatment had given Jan back her energy and motivation.

Today, Jan is back to working out and running every day. She can be spotted running around her neighborhood or gardening in her backyard. “I have my life and my health back,” she says. “I feel the best I have in years.” Jan has even started competing in races again, running several each year with hopes to run another marathon. When she isn’t at home in North Carolina, Jan is enjoying the natural beauty of Myrtle Beach with her husband. See the inspirations that keep Jan celebrating her life in her GPS Guide below.

Jan Morrow's GPS Guide

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