LITTLE COMPTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Last year, Olive Allen was in full training mode getting ready for her senior season of track and cross country at High Point University.

On Aug. 7, 2022, the All-American runner at Portsmouth High School was about to head back to school, but instead had to go to the hospital.

“I never passed out and I ran 14 miles that day,” she recalled. “I was was like, ‘mom I think I should go to the hospital,’ and my parents were like, ‘I don’t know just relax,’ and, ‘maybe it’s the heat,’ and I was like, ‘no, I think I’m going to go in.'”

It was the day before her 21st birthday, and she was diagnosed with two potential life-changing conditions.

“We got to the hospital and they said, ‘your cardiac enzymes are through the roof and you’ve had some type of cardiac episode,'” she said.

For someone who runs 70 miles per week, Allen said hearing the doctor say that was a shock.

“I was a bit confused,” she said. “They were probably more confused than I was”

But it only got more confusing for her and her family.

“The only other thing that was off besides my enzymes was I had really high platelets meaning that my blood was super thick,” Allen recalled. “I got discharged three days later and went and saw a bunch of other doctors.”

“Then two weeks later I got diagnosed with essential thrombosis which is a rare blood disease, and it’s categorized under a chronic cancer, but you can live a pretty normal life and it doesn’t shorten your life expectancy as long as it’s treated correctly,” she continued.

When asked if she was more worried about the heart attack or cancer, she said she was mostly concerned about whether she could run or not.

“The past five or six months we have just been kind of trying to figure out what my life is going to look like and how am I going to run,” Allen said.

Fast forward to the present day and she is running again — fast enough to win a 1-kilometer collegiate race last month, earning her best time ever in that event.

“it was great to be back on the line again it was a long time coming,” she said. “I remember my coach telling me, ‘Olive you’re going to race now, I was like, ‘pinch me is this a dream?'”

Allen said she lives somewhat of a normal life now, going to doctor’s appointments every two or four months to get her bloodwork monitored.

“I’m so thankful to be living a normal life considering the diagnosis I have,” she said.