‘I thought I’d never run again’: Months after leg surgery, cancer survivor taking part in BAA 10K

·2 min read

Margaret Schroeder was 25 years old when she felt the pain in her knee.

An avid runner, Schroeder didn’t think much of it, but it persisted. Testing revealed a large mass behind her knee – synovial sarcoma, a very rare type of cancer.

“Before I knew what it was, the uncertainty was the worst part,” Margaret recalls. “You worry about metastasis and survival. Then, I was really sad because my knee was very swollen, and I couldn’t bend it. I thought I’d never run again.”

Determined to save her leg and its ability to function, Schroeder sought the help of surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

A team comprised of Dr. Chandrajit Raut, surgical director of the sarcoma and bone oncology programs, vascular surgeon Dr. Matthew Menard and plastic surgeon Dr. Lydia Helliwell, performed extensive, eight-hour surgery on Schroeder.

It was a success – the team accessed the tumor while preserving Schroeder’s knee, and then reconstructed that part of her leg.

Since the surgery last fall, Schroeder has been hard at work in her recovery. She will run this year’s B.A.A. 10K on June 26 and raise money to support Dr. Raut’s sarcoma research and education fund.

“The fact that she is here now, eight months later, running, while also in the middle of completing her PhD, I think is a testament to how amazing she is,” Raut said. “Her being able to persevere through it all is so impressive – and she’s a scientist! I’m looking forward to seeing what she’s going to become and what she’s going to contribute to her field of expertise.”

Tune in to Schroeder’s interview on Boston 25 Thursday morning at 8:45.

Click here to donate to her fundraising page.

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