Former ballerina with rare disorder set to participate in NYC Half Marathon

Neurofibromatosis is a rare genetic disease that develops various tumors in the body and harms the nervous system.

Mar 17, 2023, 9:30 PM

Updated 434 days ago

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A former ballerina is running the New York City Half Marathon to raise money for a rare disorder. 
Leanna Scaglione will be running the 13.1 mile course while dealing with neurofibromatosis type 2, a rare genetic disease that develops tumors in her body. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and received her diagnosis at 15 years old, during the height of her journey to becoming a professional ballerina.  
Scaglione was able to continue dancing in her college days, and years later she would develop a passion for running.  
“I never thought it was possible because of the nerve damage in my leg,” said Scaglione. “I thought the impact would make me fall on my face… I just ran a mile, and I decided to do it again.” 
Scaglione has run three half-marathons and a number of smaller races. She’ll be running with the NF Endurance Team to raise money to fight back against neurofibromatosis.  
Dr. Annette Baker, president of the Children Tumor Foundation in New York City, says that there are clinical trials going on to fight the genetic disease, and that a drug approved back in 2020 has had success aiding some of those with the disease.  
Scaglione herself is part of one of the clinical trials and says she’s honored to be running for a cure.


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