If nothing else, the amazing story of Iram Leon is one of perseverance.
The 32-year-old Leon was diagnosed with brain cancer in November 2010, and doctors hope he'll still be alive at age 40. Leon's brain tumor has forced him to make lots of adjustments. He can't drive, work or even play contact sports. But he can still run.
And so several months after the diagnosis of the Grade 2 diffuse astrocytoma, Leon decided that whenever he would go out for a jog, he would push his 4-year-old daughter, Kiana, in a stroller in front of him.
Before long the duo was registering for official runs, and during the past few months Iram and Kiana have completed several half marathons and 10Ks. For weeks they tried to register for a marathon, but Leon was turned down four times because strollers aren't normally allowed in the races. Finally, Leon got the acceptance he was looking for, from the Gusher Marathon in Beaumont, Texas, and he did not let the organizers down.
Leon won the race with a time of 3:07:35. Or as he would like to say, he finished second to his daughter, Kiana.
After the race, Leon reflected on his experience on his blog.
"Turns out that maybe brain cancer, which has come with some nightmare scenarios, also has had some that are better than I could have ever dreamed," he wrote. "... At the Gusher Marathon, against the wind and up hill, with my princess and inspiration a step ahead of me, I ran on a highway even if I'm not allowed to drive on it."
For Iram and Kiana, the marathon was a much-needed break from the difficult reality of everyday life. Kiana has seen her father suffer seizures as a result of his condition, and they also practice a "911" drill at home.
But it's experiences like the Gusher Marathon, in addition to the runs the duo does when no one is around, that will allow Iram to say that he has no regrets.
"The one thing I'm not going to say on my death bed," Iram told the Huffington Post, "is, 'I wish I spent more time with my kid.'"
For more information on Leon, and to follow his journey, please see his blog.
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