jessica tholmer
March 25, 2013 4:00 am

When is the last time you ran a marathon?

Alright, but when is the last time you ran a marathon while pushing your 6-year-old daughter in a stroller?

Alriiiiight, but when is the last time you ran a marathon while pushing your 6-year-old daughter in a stroller after you have been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor?

Based on what I have read about him, I am guessing that Iram Leon is not one to brag, so I took it upon myself to do it for him.

At 32 years old, Leon has been told that he will likely be killed by the untreatable cancerous tumors in his brain before he reaches the age of 40 years old. There are plenty of things that Leon cannot necessarily do anymore–for instance, he had to step down from his job as a juvenile patrol officer recently because, as he claims, he began to make “too many mistakes on the stand,” due to his processing becoming a bit more muddled.

Luckily however, Leon went against the initial doctor’s orders. He was cautioned against running, but he followed his heart, which told him to run, even that day in the hospital. A friend met him and they ran around the building. Since then, he has pushed himself further and further, becoming a huge inspiration for not only fellow cancer patients, not only for fathers, but for all people, in general.

Leon was diagnosed toward the end of 2010, and in 2011, underwent brain surgery to have as much of the tumor removed as was possible. The inoperable aspect of Leon’s disease is due to the tumor reaching areas of the brain that surgery cannot reach.  In cases such as Leon’s, neurosurgeons remove the operable parts of the tumor, and hope for the research and technology advances that may come before the death of a patient. It has happened before, in the case of Reynolds Price, at least, and it could come for Leon, as well.

In the meantime, Leon is pushing the limits of what it means to be a “cancer patient.”

Leon recently won the Gusher Marathon in Beaumont, Texas, finishing in 3 hours, 7 minutes and 35 seconds. While pushing his daughter in the stroller. This was one second less than his last marathon, which he ran literal days before his brain surgery in 2011. A second “slower,” with the addition of a stroller carrying a six year old girl? I will never stop being impressed with this man.

His daughter is six years old, and Leon will only run in races in which she can come with him. Taking “seize the day” to the next level, Leon refuses to become complacent or listless. And for the rest of his life, he will focus on not only conquering his obstacles, but creating the memories his daughter will have for the rest of her life, as well.

“I want her to have as many memories of me as possible,” Leon said. “I want her to remember us having fun together, not me being sick.”

What a man. To you, Mr. Leon. We are rooting for you!

Featured image via uk.eurosport.yahoo.com, stroller image via online.wsj.com

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