An amateur athlete fighting a continuing battle against brain cancer is set to rappel 365 feet down the side of San Diego’s Hyatt building alongside an “American Idol” winner.
BethAnn Telford of Washington, D.C., is in Southern California for charity events to call attention to children who are battling brain cancer. Telford, a special events coordinator at the U.S. Government Printing Office, loves to run, bike and swim.
After being diagnosed eight years ago with brain cancer, she put together a bucket list. Last year, Telford marked off the last item on the list — competing in the Ironman competition in Kona, Hawaii. And then she began a new list.
Honestly, rappelling down the Hyatt building with David Cook wasn’t on it.
“This is out of my realm,” Telford told the Los Angeles Times in an interview on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m a swimmer, a biker … but when they told me what it was for, I said, ‘Sure.’ “
Still, friends asked her if she’d seen the building.
Doesn’t matter, she said, she’ll power through: “I know why I’m doing it. Even for kids who don’t have cancer who might be watching, I might inspire them to do something for someone.” It’s about “giving children hope,” she said.
On Sunday, Telford ran her 12th Marine Corps Marathon, finishing in 3 hours and 42 minutes, which qualified her for the Boston Marathon, she said. Each mile was dedicated to a different child who was battling brain cancer or had done so in the past.
Telford will be at Vista Grande Elementary School in Rancho Palos Verdes on Wednesday as part of the school’s Team Kids community-service program. Julie Hudash, founder of Team Kids, said presenting children with “real heroes” such as Telford was important to the program.
Telford will be accompanied by 9-year-old Madeline Baet, a brain cancer survivor and pal of “Idol” winner Cook. In 2008, Madeline made an appearance on the reality singing competition with Cook.
“He’ll be rappelling for her,” Telford said.
The event in San Diego is Saturday and Sunday. The Over the Edge website has more information.