Yesterday we shared with you a clip of a Texas high school senior bench-pressing 700 pounds. Today, it’s the story of Iram Leon, a former juvenile probation officer in Travis County, Texas, who has an inoperable, untreatable, cancerous brain tumor and won a marathon. Texas can be pretty cool, sometimes.
Leon’s story is amazing, and proof that you can always push harder, even when your body tells you to stop.
Two years after his brain-cancer diagnosis, he recently ran a sub-five-minute mile for the first time since high school. What has startled the medical community even more is what Leon did this month in Beaumont, Texas. He won the Gusher Marathon, finishing in 3:07:35. That was one second slower than his personal record in the 26.2-mile event, set days before he underwent brain surgery in early 2011. (via WSJ)
The most heartwarming/wrenching aspect of the run is that he spent the 26 miles pushing his 6-year-old daughter, Kiana, in a stroller, while she got free food from volunteers and listened to Disney songs. Here’s a clip of them running, and an explanation from Leon as to why he brought his daughter along for the race. Warning: your room is about to get mad dusty.
The payoff? “When I’m in a race, when I’m climbing a hill, for a few moments it feels like I’m pulling ahead of my problems,” he said.
Leon said he wants to set a new marathon personal record. But he is only racing these days in events that will allow him to bring along his daughter, Kiana, for whom a scholarship fund has been established at www.donationto.com/Sports-Society-Fund-for-Iram-Leon.
“I want her to have as many memories of me as possible,” he said. “I want her to remember us having fun together, not me being sick.”
So much dust. Can somebody please hurry up and find a way to cure untreatable brain tumors?