More than 20,000 people completed events during the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend in December 2015. Eighteen-year-old Adam, several of his high school classmates and their favorite English teacher were among those who walked the Half Marathon. But what sets Adam apart is that he’s currently undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Adam’s sights were originally set on running the race, but impending hip surgery, a complication from chemotherapy, interfered with his plans. Instead of giving up, Adam focused on walking the 13.1 miles instead.
Since his diagnosis in 2014, Adam, his family and friends have committed themselves to raising funds for St. Jude through his St. Jude Heroes team, Adam’s Army, which has more than 120 members across the country. From bake sales to dog washes to training for the Half Marathon as Heroes, Adam has rallied his team to raise more than $170,000 for St. Jude.
I want to carry on the legacies of friends who have died, and help the little ones who can’t speak up.
Adam’s reasons for wanting to give back to St. Jude are simple: “They’ve gone above and beyond for me and all patients,” Adam said. “I want to carry on the legacies of friends who have died, and help the little ones who can’t speak up.”
Adam and his friends finished the half marathon in 3 hours and 38 minutes. His mom, Connie, was at the finish line with friends and family. “I couldn’t quit crying,” she said. “I’ve never seen anyone work so hard towards a goal, much less while undergoing chemo. Adam truly is a hero.” Adam’s English teacher, Zack, who walked with him, was equally proud of Adam. “I was able to walk with the person for whom I was running and fundraising,” said Zack. “Not everyone has the opportunity to be able to do that.”