A North Vancouver woman is training to run a distance many people won't drive in one day.

Rosemary Westie, 60, will be pounding the pavement through 71 kilometres of Normandy, France on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Westie said she is running in honour of someone who inspires her: her sister, Kathy.

"She's our hero. She should not be here. Instead of letting cancer take control, she turned this into an opportunity to help others," she said.

Kathy was diagnosed with an advanced stage of melanoma, a common type of skin cancer.

Westie and her sister started a non-profit, Save Your Skin Foundation, to help people battling the disease. Last year, skin cancer killed an estimated 1,300 Canadians.

"Anybody who is diagnosed with melanoma can pick up the phone, call, and my sister will get them whatever they need."

Westie said she knows the marathon will be a tiring one, but it won't be able to measure up to the pain people with cancer experience.