ROUND ROCK (KXAN) - Lindsay Jones was 28 years old when she was diagnosed with melanoma. She was also 20 weeks pregnant with her first child -- a daughter, Reece.
It was a devastating diagnosis for a woman who loved life and waited a long time to become a mother. Doctors recommended Jones terminate the pregnancy in order to receive life saving treatment, but Lindsay chose to carry her baby to term.
"She felt very strongly that she could fight the cancer and still keep Reece, and so that's what they decided to do," said friend Krista Kuwamura.
Jones delivered baby Reece via Cesarean section on Christmas Day 2010, but the cancer had metastasized to many of her major organs. She immediately started treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and at the Angeles Clinic in California, but lost her battle in October 2011. She was just 30 years old.
"Her motto was fight like Hell," said Kuwamura. "I'm going to fight like Hell and I'm going to beat this."
Jones was an avid runner who encouraged her friends to participate in running events. Many of those same friends have organized the Fight Like a Girl 5K for Sunday in her honor.
"Just knowing that Reece is going to grow up to learn about what we're doing for her -- there's no words," said friend April Harris, who, like Kuwamura, worked with Lindsay at Cactus Ranch Elementary School in Round Rock.
Jones was the school librarian for four years. In May 2012, the library was renamed and dedicated in her honor.
"I truly think she was put on this Earth to give us Reece," said Harris. "I truly think she was put on this Earth to give us the facility that we have here, to know about what a true librarian should be. I feel like she was put on this Earth to help us become better friends and to be there for others when you least expect it."
This will be the first annual 5K in Lindsay's honor, but her friends are determined to keep it going every year.
"Saturday would have been her birthday," said Kuwamura. "Its going be hard. This race is going to be something that's going to be a memory for her -- for us to honor her -- and she should be here. She was too young."
The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. Online registration closed at 11 p.m. on Thursday, but those who want to participate can still sign up on race day.
Proceeds from the 5K will go to the Angeles Clinic, a leader in Melanoma research and treatment.
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