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Dad With Terminal Brain Cancer Wins Marathon While Pushing Daughter in Stroller

Iram Leon isn’t going to let a little thing like cancer slow him down.

In the latest story about the power of the human spirit on display at a marathon, the 32-year-old man battling terminal brain cancer finished first in the Gusher Marathon in Beaumont, Texas earlier this month, while pushing his six-year-old daughter the entire way.

Leon overcame many obstacles during the race, including a flat tire on the stroller, heavy wind and untied shoelace. That doesn’t even include the fact they had to get permission to compete with a stroller. Running the course with a stroller wasn’t an impediment whatsoever, says Leon. “It can’t be a disadvantage when it’s what gets you going.”

Since the diagnosis, Leon’s perspective on parenting has changed tremendously. “The one thing I’m not going to say on my death bed is, ‘I wish I spent more time with my kid.’”

Leon said his condition has helped him put life in perspective:

People shouldn’t wait to live until they’re told they’re dying. Go home and hug somebody and don’t wait to be told you have a disease that’s going to kill you. I ran my entire life and I was dumb enough to wait until I was told I was dying before I ran with my daughter.”

Leon has always enjoyed running, though, and made a vow to continue – as long as his daughter, Kiana, accompanied him. They finished their first half-marathon last October and have gone on to run in about six more. She has certainly been an inspiration and he must be thrilled to know that the organization that puts on the Gusher Marathon has created a college fund for Kiana.

Doctors have told Leon he will not overcome the cancer and that they hope he will make it to the age of 40. He was diagnosed with cancer shortly after he turned 30 and can no longer drive, work or compete in any contact sports. He also has seizures and frequently vomits after races.

[Beaumont Enterprise]

Photo by Aaron Savage
Photo by Aaron Savage
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