Wake Forest woman runs past two major medical diagnoses to compete in international race

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A Wake Forest woman is training for an international marathon to prove determination makes a difference. (WTVD)

A Wake Forest woman is training for an international marathon to prove determination makes a difference, even if that means facing a life-threatening medical diagnosis - like cancer.

But that wasn't the only major medical battle Tiffany Hornish Sorber has faced.

Running is a way of life for Sorber, and it's been that way ever since she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just 27 years old.

"It was obviously kind of earth-shattering at the time because it was not something that I expected; there was no history in my family," Hornish Sorber said. "So, when I got the diagnosis, it was something that was very frightening and it kind of changed my world."

Her running kept her going until she was delivered another crushing blow - she was diagnosed with a heart rhythm disorder called Long QT syndrome.

"For a while I was angry, and it took me a while to even accept what was happening, but the first battle kind of prepared me for the second," she said.

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The disorder can be fatal, and after having surgery to have a defibrillator put into her chest, she took off once again.

"I got home from the hospital and the first thing I wanted to do was get back into my training schedule," she said, "get back to running."

She beat her cancer after five years of treatment, but as luck would have it, Tiffany's pooch, Pandora, was also diagnosed with a heart murmur.

Now the two sometimes train together.

Hornish Sorber is preparing to put all that training to the test and go up against 19 other global champs - who also have a medical device implanted in them - at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 1.

"To see her do this race, and then come out and just be the inspiration for other people, I'm so proud of her," her running partner, Mel Downey-Piper, said, "and I really hope that she can change somebody's life."

"You can choose to roll over and not get out of bed, or you can choose to keep going, and I was kind of the type that chose to keep going," Hornish Sorber said, hoping to show others how to take a challenge and run with it.

"It may be very scary at first," she added, "but if they just stick with it and find their new normal, it's all relative."
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