03/02/2011 06:11 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Marathon Against Cancer

What is a "marathon" - 26.2 miles or the journey to fight cancer?

On November 30, 2005 my mom underwent extensive surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in her stomach. On November 30, 2010 my mom celebrated being five years cancer-free.

The day my parents sat my brother and I down to explain to us what was wrong with our mom, I knew I would have to become stronger. Not only stronger for her but for me and my family. When I heard the word "cancer," my heart started racing. As any 15-year-old girl would be, I was scared and I was unsure of the future. I have always been very close with my mom and it was the hardest thing to watch her go through this. But her strength told me that she was going to pull through and she was going to kick cancer in the butt.

My heart was racing the entire seven hours she was in surgery. The moment I got the phone call from my dad that she was out and they got the entire tumor I was relieved, but knew she had a long road ahead. And on the day she came home, it finally kicked in that hopefully she was cancer free and a survivor.

I knew that she had some of the best doctors working on her case and I thought about all the money my family and I have raised for cancer research. All those years of working with Concern Foundation, I knew the money was going good places. But it hit me most when my mom needed the cure for cancer. That's when I decided to make an even bigger pledge to raise money for cancer every year. Alone, I have raised over $50,000 for cancer research. That money and the money that is donated to charities like Concern, no doubt helped saved my mom's life.

I could not be more thankful to all the doctors and nurses that saved my mom. It is impossible to thank every past or future donor of Concern personally, but I would like to take a moment to thank you for donating money to a cause that is very close to my heart. Concern and their efforts saved my mom's life along with so many other cancer survivor's lives.

Today, I could not be more proud of my mom. Every year is another year that she is cancer free and she looks unbelievable. She taught me strength, determination and the power of believing in yourself. She was remarkable through this all and she will forever be an inspiration to me.

So today, I ask you to please help me raise $20,000 for cancer research. For the second year, Concern Foundation is an official charity of the LA Marathon. To celebrate my mom being 5 years cancer free, I have decided to run the marathon. But more impressive is that my mom is going to walk the entire route! I plan on walking the first half with her and then running the last half. I will be standing at the finish line waiting for my mom with her medal, because it isn't every day that a cancer survivor completes a marathon. I am so excited to be doing this with her and I cannot wait for March 20. You are all welcome to come out and watch and cheer us on either at the Concern station or anywhere along the route.

So, I can reach my goal of $20,000 - but only with your help. Your generosity not only helps celebrate my mom's victory, but will help fund future research which will no doubt help thousands of others. No donation is too small (or too big!), so please follow this link to my personal marathon site!

Thanks for your support - together, we can all CONquer CanCER Now!

Courtney Teller