Kent Stoneking lost his leg after a motorcycle accident in 2011. What could have been a devastating setback for the father of three didn't stop him from challenging himself. He was walking less than 30 days after receiving his prosthetic limb. He was running less than 90 days after that.
Not long after Kent started running, his brother suggested they both participate in the next St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. Though initially hesitant, Kent decided to run the full marathon that December.
St. Jude was already familiar to Kent; he did a 30-day rotation in the St. Jude pharmacy when he was in pharmacy school. The experience stayed with him and inspired him to take his marathon journey one step further: he chose to not only run, but also to fundraise as a St. Jude Hero while he trained.
As a Hero, the funds Kent raised would help St. Jude kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, something that wasn't guaranteed by his registration fee alone. For him, the combination of running and fundraising brought the best of both worlds, allowing him to do something healing for himself and for others at the same time.
Impressed by the effort of Kent and his brother, their father registered the following year, running the half marathon and fundraising as a St. Jude Hero four years in a row (coming in eighth in his age group one year!). Kent's son has also run, and this year, Kent's daughter will be running her first full marathon. His niece will run the 5K. Kent will be fundraising as a St. Jude Hero yet again, and running the half marathon with his brother. For the Stoneking family, event weekend has become a tradition of coming together to cross the finish line.
Kent acknowledges he still has challenges, but he's found strength in helping give every child a fighting chance and inspiring others to do the same along the way. “St. Jude has provided families with a context to dream the impossible,” he says, and he won’t stop doing everything in his power to support them.