Author, cancer survivor runs the perimeter of Oahu in her goal to run in all 50 states


Although she’s an accomplished author and runner, you may have never heard of Helene Neville.

But she’s seen more of the United States than most  other Americans.

In addition to being an endurance runner Neville is also a multiple cancer survivor who’s undergone three separate brain surgeries.

She set out on her journey May 1 of last year with a plan to run across all 50 states, and share her message of hope and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Monday she completed her run around the perimeter of Oahu at the same spot she started it four days ago: the Duke Kahanamoku Statue in Waikiki.

“If you read his story, he was all about athletics,” said cancer survivor and runner Helene Neville. “But he helped the under served, and that’s been my mission as well. Inspiring those that maybe don’t believe in themselves.  That you don’t have limits. Put action behind a dream and just give it a go. He believed that. I really read about him and admired him for many years.”

She says her primary goal is to let people know that no matter their physical condition, to dream the impossible and don’t let anyone tell you no. 

For more information:


For the 57-year-old transcontinental runner, nurse, author, Flag for Hope Star, inspirational speaker, mother, grandmother, and on-going cancer survivor/warrior, her story is much more than an athletic achievement. Rather, it is a true testament to the human spirit and what it can endure and of her discovery of the extents of human strength and beauty, both in herself and in the people across the amazing country we live in.

Neville runs to inspire health, hope, and unity in America, and encourages all people to “Rethink Impossible”, one state, one mile, one person at a time.

Neville overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles, she made her way – on foot and solo – across every state in the continental United States. Her run presented barriers that would have stopped others in their tracks.

Without a backup crew or roadside support, all alone on the highways of America, surviving on whatever was in her backpack on a particular day, Neville made her way around the continental United States in five segments: from California to Florida, Canada to Mexico, Florida to Maine, and Canada (Eastern Maine) to Washington State, and finally Wyoming to West Virginia and back to Nevada. Through the entire five segments, people she had never met literally took her into their homes each night of her run, fed her, moved her support vehicle 20 to 50 miles ahead of each start point for the next day’s run. Neville began and ended each day in unfamiliar surroundings, asking and receiving help from strangers. She choose to look for kindness in others rather than stay on guard expecting the worst.

Still, the obstacles Neville faced were immense. She was sidelined by cancer, only to run 25 miles a day, sometimes more. During her run from Canada to Mexico, she carried a 26-pound urn filled with the ashes of her brother who had passed away just before the start of that run. Despite summer heat in the Deep South, record humidity in the Midwest, wildfires in the West, treacherous terrain, blizzards in the mountains, altitude sickness, constant logistical and financial issues, a broken heel bone, a broken rib, hurricanes, pneumonia, and an attempted assault and abduction, she kept running. And, somehow, after running each day, she would harness the strength to visit hospitals, schools, fire departments, police stations, and cancer centers, to ignite community spirit in America.

Neville self-funds her runs by selling official One On The Run t-shirts and her books and relying solely on the support of strangers. Neville’s books are “Nurses In Shape”, “One On The Run – 93 Days Across America” and “One On The Run – Border to Border.” Her highly anticipated next book, takes the reader step-by-step through her entire United States run.

“We don’t know the limits of human potential or performance. I relied on community and found mankind. The most spiritual thing we can do is embrace humanity and connect with those around us. I run to inspire others to realize their dreams, and “Rethink Impossible.” She sums up.

Neville has delivered speeches in 48 states and has been a TedTalk speaker.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.