Daniel learned to walk as a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital when he was an infant battling stage IV neuroblastoma.
At the 2017 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, Daniel will celebrate 25 years since he completed treatment, in a fitting way – running his first marathon, each stride taking him back to his days at the hospital where “I took my first steps.”
“I think it’s going to be a pretty impactful and emotional race for me,” says Daniel, a New Yorker who works in finance.
More faces of the marathon
Melissa’s 5-year-old daughter Julie is being treated at St. Jude for optic glioma. “Our doctor at St. Jude said treatment isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon,” Melissa says. The metaphor is notable during race weekend in Memphis, as Melissa plans to raise $70,000 for the hospital by the end of 2017 as a St. Jude Hero running the marathon. And she’s in it for the long haul – Melissa hopes to complete 100 marathons for St. Jude, with the 2017 St. Jude Memphis Marathon being No. 13.
Dean, father of Sydney
Dean and Tasha’s daughter Sydney was a St. Jude patient in 2008 and passed away in 2009. They’re now bereaved-parent mentors at the hospital, and founding members of the St. Jude Bereaved Parent Steering Council.
“This was a precious life and a light that has shone,” Tasha says of Sydney, “and we have to keep that light shining.”
At the 2017 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, Dean will run the marathon in honor of Sydney.
Madison was treated at St. Jude for Hodgkin lymphoma twice – first in 2016, and again in early 2017.
She'll participate in the 5K for the second time. She ran in her first race just days after starting chemotherapy.
“Last year was by chance,” she says, “this year is by choice.”
Dane, 56, is running in the 10K. His story and sense of purpose stand out even in this inspired and inspiring crowd. He was treated at St. Jude for Ewing sarcoma in 1974 and diagnosed with the disease again in 2014.
“I’m very grateful to be healthy enough,” he says, “to participate in the marathon weekend and help raise funds to help one of the places that saved my life.”