It was a picture of Carol in her twenties where she looked exhausted that got her mom wondering if something was wrong.
Not long after, she got the bad news.
"In 1972 i had Hodgkin's disease," she said.
Then came uterine cancer and most recently lung cancer.
"I finished cancer treatment for the fifth time last year, and I finally got it that if I'm going to live, I need to get some weight off," said Carol.
Carol says she started gaining the extra pounds in college.
She jokes that big family dinners didn't help.
"Last November is when I finished my chemo and my doctor said, 'I just really want you to watch your nutrition,' and i asked him what that means. And he said just eat right, exercise, and take care of yourself, and i thought, I'm not sure what that means!"
So Carol turned to people who do know.
In September she joined the biggest loser club.
She's lost 20 pounds on the program, thanks to a cyber-support group.
"They have these threads that you write and you can write anything you want, ask questions, that kind of thing. I just kind of happened upon a runners thread which is kind of odd considering my situation."
Carol says a side-effect of her cancer treatment left her confined to a wheelchair.
But that didn't matter to the running group.
"They were just so welcoming and made me feel like what i did was very valid if even compared to what they do is nothing."
This Friday, Carol gets a chance to pay those runners back for all of the support they gave her....
Even though she can't run beside them....she'll be lifting their spirits and cheering them on from the sidelines.
"I'm very very excited, I can't wait," said Carol.
Carol won't be alone cheering on the sidelines.
One of the runners is bringing her sister to Champaign-Urbana for the race, who is also in a wheelchair. Carol plans to sit with her.
If you're interested in learning more about the Biggest Loser club, you can meet some experts this Friday. They're hosting a free session at the Champaign Public Library from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.