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Stacie Goggans Running to Fight Leukemia

GMC teacher to run half marathon while daughter raises money to fight leukemia
By Payton Towns III – The Union-Recorder

A physical education teacher at Georgia Military College is preparing to run a half marathon in San Francisco while her daughter supports her by raising money to help fight leukemia.

Stacie Goggans, who also leads the GMC Tumbling Academy and is the GMC Junior College cross country coach, has joined the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America\’s Team in Training program to run the Nike San Francisco Half Marathon on Oct. 23.

\”It\’s a program where you agree to raise more than $3,400 in honor of a leukemia patient,\” Goggans said. \”They will pay your airfare and hotel to the marathon you are going to. They pick like four or five marathons a year and this is the one we choose.\”

Her daughter, Carrie, who is a student at GMC, is supporting her mother by raising the money needed to be a part of the team.

\”For the last two years, she told me that we needed to do another marathon,\” Goggans said. \”I finally decided that I needed to do it while she still here and before she goes away to college.\”

Carrie, who will not be running in the marathon but will be there, has helped her mother by addressing envelopes, putting them in mailboxes and selling raffle tickets.

\”I have helped a lot,\” Carrie said. \”… I look forward to cheering her on.\”

Goggans, 47, sent a letter about what she\’s doing to about 350 people. So far, they have raised more than $2,000.

\”Our principal has been great,\” she said. \”He let me send it out to the entire school this week. We\’ve also had eight or nine businesses to donate several things for me to raffle.\”

A date for the raffle has not been set, but Goggans said she\’ll probably hold it in the middle of October.

Goggans has run in the Big Sur Marathon in California and the New York City Marathon raising more than $7,000 for the Leukemia Society.

In October, Goggans will be running the 13-mile race in honor of Jack Coco.

Coco, 39, is an entertainment producer in New York City. In May, he was diagnosed with Stage Four Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, which is fast growing and highly aggressive, Goggans said.

According to Goggans, Coco has co-produced the Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation\’s Annual Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall. The event is celebrating its 13th benefit to raise money for blood and cancer related diseases.

Coco is as associate producer of the new film \”Broadway: The Golden Age,\” which was made by Goggans\’ brother, Rick McKay. The movie opens this summer in theaters around the country.

Coco is currently undergoing extensive chemotherapy and would appreciate people\’s thoughts and prayers, Goggans said.

\”I thought, who better to do it for than Jack,\” she said. \”He\’s in Stage Four which is the worst stage. It was really bad when they found it.\”

About eight years ago, Goggans and her family were on vacation when she started feeling bad.

\”My temperature would go from 104 back to 101,\” she said. \”I went to the doctor where she did a couple of tests and said I had leukemia.\”

After several more tests and meetings with different doctors, Goggans was told that she didn\’t have leukemia but was diagnosed with Erlichia, a tick born disease.

\”When they gave me the right medication, I got better,\” she said. \”It scared me to death. When I thought I had something like that, it really made me want to give back to the Leukemia Society.\”

For more information, e-mail her at sgoggans@gmc.cc.ga.us or call her at (478) 451-0423. Checks made payable to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society can be mailed to 3031 Heritage Road, Milledgeville, Ga. 31061.

Payton Towns III covers law enforcement, the court system and Baldwin County education for The Union-Recorder. He can be reached at (478) 453-1456 or by e-mail at newsroom@unionrecorder.com