Huntington North’s Addy Wiley overcame childhood tumor to become nation’s no. 1 distance runner

High School Sports

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) – When it comes to running the mile, nobody in the country is faster than incoming Senior at Huntington North , Addy Wiley. But, if it wasn’t for a team of doctors, a family of support and an unmatched determination at 10-years-old, Wiley’s running career may have never left the starting line.

“It means a lot to me to know that no matter what, I can put my best foot forward to do something to make myself proud and for me to be proud of.” Wiley said.

During her Junior year with the Vikings, Wiley winning, a lot. The runner became the first female in Indiana history to take home both the 800 and 1600 meter state titles at the same state championship meet.

Wiley also set a state record this season in the mile. With a time of 4:38.14, Wiley ranked as the nation’s number one performance among prep competitors this season and ninth all-time in US prep girls history.

“I feel like I usually have a pretty good strategy going into races, I know what I’m going to do ahead of time and it almost, almost always works out for me.” Wiley said.

The distance runner will now come back to Huntington North for her senior year with bragging rights. This summer Wiley was named the Nike National Champion for the mile and the 2021 Indiana Gatorade Girls Track and Field Player of Year.

“The Gatorade one was pretty big. I really like that one especially because we got to make a donation to a non-profit,” Wiley said.

However, when she was just 10-years-old, doctors noticed a “tennis ball” sized tumor in-between her diaphragm and right lung.

“I think it goes really unnoticed. When I was in the fourth grade, I started to get really tired all of the time. I would come home from school and have constant headaches. I just wouldn’t feel good. I found out that I had a cancer tumor and it basically was just pushing in on that lung making it hard to breath.”

The medical named for the tumor was an “Inflammatory Myofibroblastic” tumor.

“At that time my biggest fear was, ‘Mom, will will I be home for Christmas?”

A scary thing to face, Wiley fought her way through the other side and now uses it to fuel her.

“It’s just the scare of anything can happen at any time. I never thought I’d have another tumor again and a couple of winters ago I was having surgery again for what we thought was another one.” Wiley said. “You never know what’s going to take place, you never know what’s going to happen so I have to take advantage of each moment in the classroom, at practice, if I walked around scared everyday that I was going to have another tumor then I wouldn’t accomplish anything.”

With a 3.98 GPA in the classroom, Wiley is an inspiration to keep moving forward.

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