East Texas man runs 27 days to help the fight against cancer

Oleus Lilly from Longview runs over 200 miles from Ft. Worth

Monday, December 6, 2010 - 12:36pm

LONGVIEW - Saturday afternoon, Oleus Lilly crossed the finish line at the Longview Cancer Center.

He ran for 27 days - a journey that began more than 200 miles away in Ft. Worth.

"No Thanksgiving for me. I slept outside the whole 27 days. I think I got one room donated when I was in Canton. So I slept in a bed one night out of 27 nights," Lilly said.

Tired, sick, and running on a sprained ankle, Oleus Lilly says he would do it all over again. It's all in the name of raising money and awareness for fighting cancer - a cause inspired by his grandmother - who recenlty died of breast cancer.

"I was never at home, and she would always come visit me and I would not be at home. And she would always be like, 'You always runnin', as many miles as you run, as much as you run, you're gonna run across the State of Texas one day,' so that's pretty much the seed that got everything started," Lilly said.

Oleus spent most of the 27 nights in the elements.

"I slept in storm drains, I slept on park benches, I slept behind stores," Lilly said.

And after almost a month of adventures on the road, he's glad to be home.

"I am definitely looking forward to getting my ankle wrapped, getting some medicine in my system, getting some actual real food...and just finally, mainly, sleeping in a bed cause I haven't slept in a bed in ages it seems like," Lilly said.

But he won't be resting for too long. He's already planning his next move.

"I tell people that my next thing is gonna be just as extreme. Because people are like 'Why are you doing this? Why so extreme?' I'm like 'Have you seen anybody with cancer? You know what they go through? It's extreme," Lilly said.

Lilly's cause will benefit the American Cancer Society. Donations will last until December 14.

For more information on how you can help, visit Lilly's "Run Across Texas" blog here.

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