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Few people have a story quite like Courtney Schoch. She grew up in an abusive environment, dropped out of high school, and then turned her life around completely. After receiving her GED, she worked her way through aviation school to become a commercial pilot.


But wait, there’s more. Schoch founded the non-profit company called Runucate which raises awareness and funds for organizations that fight illiteracy and provide education. How does she raise funds? Schoch runs marathons around the world to make sure those organizations have the money to help educate people.

Schoch wasn’t into fitness or athletics growing up, but that changed when she was diagnosed with skin cancer in her 30’s.

“I was walking in the woods on a trail when I received a call from my doctor,” she told Marathon Training Academy. “Moments after he told me I had cancer, I broke into a run and it felt amazing. I felt so alive after receiving such terrible news.”

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Schoch, who flies for United Airlines Express, never stopped running. She has completed four marathons while continuing to raise money for educating children through her non-profit foundation.

Schoch has overcome a lot and battled some really difficult times, but she never gave up on herself. She has a great piece of advice for those who might be struggling just as she was at one time.

“Own your story, don’t let it own you,” she said on her website.

Photo Credit: Instagram, Marathon Training Academy