Iram Leon: Restoring faith in heroes
While ordinary men, how much ever fit and strong they may be, can struggle to finish a full fledged marathon 26 miles (42 kilometres), Iram Leon would probably stun you with his achievements.
He is no professional athlete to have completed a full marathon, being instead, the dad of a 6 yr old whom he pushed all the way while winning the Gusher Marathon in Beaumont, Texas. But the biggest surprise in this achievement lies in the fact that he is also battling brain cancer at the same time.
Leon, 32, has been battling Grade 2 Diffuse Astrocytoma since 2010, and doctors have already given up on curing him. Their aim is, instead, to make sure he lives till his 40′s.
He finished the marathon with a time of 3:07:35, and insists his daughter won it instead, as he pushed her stroller across the finish line first.
“Here sore, reflecting and grateful, I still can’t believe that I won a marathon. Well, I came in second behind Kiana,” he wrote in his blog.
Leon has run 3 marathons and may other races since his diagnosis with cancer, and has pushed his daughter in all of them, wanting to spend as much time as possible with her.
“The one thing I’m not going to say on my death bed is, ‘I wish I spent more time with my kid,’” he told Huffington Post.
The cancer has affected his memory and language skills, meaning he cannot drive a car, work or play any contact sports. His daughter, Kiana, has also been taught emergency procedures through ’911 drills’, and knows very well her dad is sick.
“There’s no good balance between protecting a kid from this and sharing it with them,” Leon reveals further to Huffington Post. “Daddy has a boo boo on his left temporal lobe,” isn’t the right approach, he explained.
Its not been one bit easy for him. As he records in his blog, 2 weeks after running the 2012 marathon, he was hospitalised. The Boston marathon, last year again, was run in the hottest weather for 112 years. In 2013, he completed a marathon despite “vomiting 4 times on the course and 4 times after the finish.”
He even refused to run a marathon, after finding his daughter’s stroller’s front tires flat, with the stem broken.
Considering the tumultuous events of the past year, where we have seen ‘heroes’ fall one after the other and left all those who worshipped them distraught, Iram Leon may just be the true inspirational hero needed to restore their faith.
Watch a video of him below singing with his daughter while running in the Gusher Marathon.