PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rebekah Ceidro says she had never run more than a mile at one time, until she started training recently for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. 13 miles is no walk in the park.

“I was 218 pounds,” she recalls. “I was tired all the time. And now I’m about 180, and continuing to drop. And I feel better than I have since I was a teenager.”

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The novice runner says there’s no going back. The woman who used to hit the snooze alarm a half dozen times each morning has changed her habits.

“Now I leap out of bed to start the day, and put on my running shoes.”

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Rebekah says she’s in the best shape of her life. But she’s not just running for herself. She discovered on Facebook that an old friend needed a life saving kidney transplant. So she made an appointment with doctors at UPMC.

“I went through the testing to see if I could donate my kidney to him, and they said yes, but they said I was too heavy. So if I didn’t lose weight, I couldn’t save his life.”

So she started to run. And run. The pounds began to melt away. And she started a GoFundMe site for the Kidney Foundation. A friend in need ad given her the strength to do what she needed for herself.

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“I went into it trying to save his life, but he ended up saving mine.”