Marathon runner with terminal brain cancer wins Gusher and inspires others

Iram J. Leon won the Gusher Marathon on March 9, 2013 pushing his 6 year old daughter, Kiana, in a borrowed stroller. But that's not the most miraculous part of the story. Iram has terminal brain cancer.

Jay, as he is known to his friends, is a humble man who is just trying to create memories with his 6 year old daughter, Kiana.

Leon tells 12News, "Couple of years ago I had a grand mal seizure at a birthday party and we did a biopsy a couple days later and it turned out to be grade two diffuse astrocytoma."

Amie James with Sports Society for American Health tells 12News, "It' terminal. His doctors have told him they're hoping to get him to 40."

At 32, just like in a marathon, Iram is up against the clock.  But now he's trying to create memories with his daughter, before he runs out of time.

Leon says, "I figured worse case scenario, if I manage to beat this, if I can get to be part of the minority, all I did was hang out with my kid some more and if I don't, all I did was hang out with my kid some more and so I consider that a win either way."

Iram's story touched the organizers of the Exygon and Baptist Hospitals Gusher Marathon so much that they bent the rules so he could run with the stroller in the marathon and they started a fundraising page for him.

Amie James with Sports Society for American Health explains, "It's called Iram Leon, Rush the Gush. Iram has an old stroller that he bought off Craig's list, the one that you see him running with in the Gusher is borrowed and he doesn't have a race stroller."

But they are also collecting money so that Kiana can go to college.

Leon says at first he did not know what to say, "I don't know how you say no to that. One of my friends said, 'Man she won a marathon. She should get a scholarship.'"

If the donations on the site so far are an indication, it's obvious to see that with every step Iram took during the Gusher Marathon, he inspired other people along the way.

Brad Britnell is one of them.  He donated to the fund. He tells 12News,  "I got to see him in action. I hope that he inspires other people to step up to be better parents and even to get off the couch and move."

Iram finished the marathon in 3:07, singing and creating memories every step of the way.  Although Iram has run many races, this is his first marathon and he says he doesn't plan to stop now. If you would like to find out more, or to donate click on the link below.


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