Sunday, March 10, 2013

An Open Highway


When you put off brain cancer surgery to run the 2011 Livestrong marathon, you never get to live it down… but I’ve ran 3 marathons since then and wondered many times why none of them have gone anywhere near as well… 9 minutes slower in 2012 with an ambulance wake up call less than 2 weeks later, nearly an hour slower with the 2012 Boston weather being the second hottest one in 112 year history, 2 minutes slower in 2013 vomiting 4 times on the course and 4 times after the finish…  I’ve gotten faster times in every distance why couldn't I hold pace over the marathon distance? My brain maybe screwed up but it finally found the reason.
After Austin, where I was trying to get some aggressive goals, I accepted that if you have 2 ipods give out and throw up all over the course, it’s probably going to be tough to achieve it and moved into 5k mode since my next trip to Duke revolves around their annual 5k. But there were 2 of my running group who were looking for another marathon. They had also struggled accepting their Austin marathon performance and were also people who have given me rides quite often. They encouraged me to come and I said I’m in 5k mode now and I’m not going unless they let me do it with a stroller… I emailed the director who initially let me know they just couldn’t do that despite my stroller division win, my 30k and half marathon age group wins. She even asked give me a reason why I should let you do it and not let anyone else not use a stroller… I said I didn’t know what to say to that and that I could handle rejection, since they were the 4th marathon I’d asked (Boston included). She said she’d sleep on it and was kind enough to decide she’d let me do it the next morning.

The rest of the story is what I would call improvised redemption. I am a guy who doesn’t know how to run without music but since I signed up with very little time I didn’t work on a playlist just though I’d add a few kids songs to the one I’d never heard in Austin. Then on the drive there as I started listening to it, I realized a song that has a few less than kid friendly songs (Eminem’s Till I Collapse for Example) probably should not be playing those since they were going to be on speaker while a 6 year old was listening in. So I removed those and forgot they took up a chunk of the extra time I'd allotted (I had a 3:30 playlist) and would not realize until the race that I'd cut it to 3:11.

Then I got to the race beginning and the front tire of the stroller I borrow for races was flat. We tried to fix it but a cracked stem isn’t fixable. I let the race director I was going to have to bow out. He said one of the volunteers would watch Kiana and I could still run it. I stated I appreciated it but I’d rather be the one watching her cheering on my friends than having her babysat. One of the guys who would be a volunteer bike rider doubled up a tube in there and pumped it… it was wibbly wobbly… and we tried it with Kiana and it was going to have to just take a lot of effort to keep it straight but it would have to do. I found someone else with the exact same stroller and asked if he would let us change the front wheels for the race and trade back after (he was not running with a stroller). He politely said no because he was just doing the 5k and then had a 90 minute drive to get home. Then it was my time to get on stage to address the crowd, as they had asked me. I had prepared a few thoughts but I had intended to arrive at the race looking for body glide, got distracted by the stroller issues and I managed to remember to start by first apologizing for the length of my short. Then I said I ran track elementary through high school, cross country in college, once ran a 1000 consecutive days and while I had never run a marathon till 3 years ago and am now at 7, it wasn’t until I got cancer that I started sharing it with Kiana. I shared the joke from my doctors that they can’t say my mind is stable due to my running habits but at least the MRI was. No one’s brain had to be as screwed up as mine about running it with a stroller but there at the gusher marathon, I encouraged them to make sure that any friend, family, significant other should know at the end of the race that the Gusher marathon helped you gush about them.

Then I got off the stage and put Kiana in the stroller thoroughly intimidated by this front wheel and that same stranger would come up and say, you know what, let’s trade wheels. I changed them as quickly as I could, asked him to please get my contact info and I could send him whatever after. I got them done with 3 minutes to race time and then got to the front to start the race. And we were off.

I was not quite mentally prepared for race conditions or at the race start. There were supposed to be 11 mile an hour winds and at most and they were more like 20 mile an hour winds with the wind getting stronger throughout the race with gusts up to 24 miles an hour. I am not great at tying my shoes and usually double or triple knot them before races. With the wheel distraction I didn't do that and literally had to stop to tie the first show about mile 3 and the second one about mile 8 (the first one got double knotted the second one triple knotted). These were also new shoes since I’d retired the other ones after Austin.  This race had a lot of turns which without a stroller I would have not noticed throughout a campus and downtown. With a stroller, you notice them because you can’t make that many hairpin turns (my garmin bonus for this race would be greater than any other marathon). The wind was so bad that since it was a two loop course the half marathoners who were running about my pace tucked in behind me for several miles and when they passed me on mile 12 thanked me for blocking the wind for them…

After crossing the halfway mark at just under 1:31, I couldn’t see anyone ahead of me and asked a cyclist how far back I was. She said there’s no one ahead which floored me. Was there a possibility that I could win not a division, not an age group but a marathon with my inspiration directly in front of me? Right about that time, the speaker started playing “It’s the time of your life so live it well” from A Bugs life and Kiana who had slept a good chunk of the first half… woke up and started singing it.

Then it was just trying to keep the engine going in the wind which kept getting stronger but if nothing else at least kept you from feeling as hot. When I’d passed all the water stops on the first go around, I’d asked them to splash me the second time around which people had fun with. I’d forgotten to point out that I’d be good if one of them gave me water every once in a while. Fortunately, the lead cyclist that was accompanying noticed me and brought me a few cups for the second half. The marathon had gels, bananas and all kinds of things along the course. I don’t use those but he managed to bike close enough to get them to Kiana which made her experience better and more fun.

At mile 19, I realized each step now was one step longer than I had ever done with Kiana. Simply put, it was also something I would have never imagined doing, running a  marathon with a stroller. And so we kept running. On the second half, Bon Jovi’s, it’s my life came on. At that point 3 people were biking next to me and Kiana asked why are they hanging out with us and why is everyone waving at us. I kept having to barrel down because of the wind and so I just told her to be polite and wave and say hi to anyone saying hi to her. One of the people on the bike, I would later realize was taking video of it. And if you listen to that, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKLXEAPjwAw&feature=youtu.be) you’ll realize why I don’t do karaoke. But either way, on that windy closed six lane highway, I sang along answering the question I get asked a lot, why I’d rather run with a stroller rather than without one “This ain’t a song for the broken hearted, I ain’t going to just be a face in the crowd, you’re going to hear my voice when I shout it out loud” and “My heart is like an open highway, like Frankie said, I did it my way” “it’s now or never, ain’t going to live forever I just wanna live live while I’m alive.”

I’d gotten splashed enough to where my speaker that I run with a stroller stopped working and as I tried to fix it it went into a gutter. The cyclists said they could entertain Kiana and so I put on earphones for the last bit. Those last few miles were on that uplifted highway with the wind and temperature up. I’ve never gotten anywhere near a negative split in a marathon but this 1:31, 3:07 was the closest I’d ever come. When I push a stroller I sometimes push it ahead of me when I need to blow my nose or take some shot blocks in but when I did that, it literally would come back to me because it was literally uphill and against the wind.
In the end none of us who went out there from Austin, had come in the time goals we’d hoped for. But a friend had pointed out to us that you have to focus on the process as much as the outcome and I think that's an important mantra. I handed out Livestrong bracelets to remind people of that. Still, three of the four of us made the awards stage for prizes.





But here sore, reflecting and grateful, I still can’t believe that I won a marathon. Well, I came in second behind Kiana. at the awards ceremony, I immediately placed it on her neck and like every other race she’s been part of it that medal hangs in her room. It got some local press coverage if you want to read the story better written and more succinctly (http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Brain-cancer-patient-wins-Gusher-Marathon-4342280.php). Either way, this marathon over 2 years later is literally 1 second apart from the one I’d put off brain surgery for. 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. But 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. I may never get to live down having put off that surgery for that marathon, I dare to dream that I lived up to it. 

Update: If you've read this far read the race director's comment below and then showing how generous she is she also set up a scholarship fund for Kiana: http://www.donationto.com/Sports-Society-Fund-for-Iram-Leon 

195 comments:

  1. Absolutely amazing! Congratulations on your win! I'm a runner who can barely push her daughter in the stroller for 3 miles without her getting cranky or me getting tired! You are truly an inspiration! :) I'm from Beaumont, but live in Fort Worth and found out about you on the Gusher Facebook page! :)

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  2. Great race report!
    It's a nerve wracking decision as a race director to make an exception. You plan, you worry, you give up your own goals- vacations, money, new cars, etc. all in the hope of making every single runner feel as if they are the most important runner on the course. Our job is to make it the memory of a lifetime for each and every runner or walker.

    Then here you came asking me to defy convention. Asking me to let you put a stroller in a Boston Qualifying event. We did a lot of research that night. We stayed up for hours after you wrote us. We discussed, planned, thought about everything that could go wrong. "Where would you line up? How would that effect the quick U-turn that's less than half a mile into the start? How would we explain to everyone else why we were breaking our own rule, a rule that we had received more than a few emails and comments about?"

    We also thought about everything that could go right. We thought of the inspiration you would bring to the people here. We are ranked as one of the unhealthiest, unhappiest areas in the United States. We have a high cancer rate. We thought about you. You mentioned your daughter was getting older and heavier. You mentioned that you may only have 8 years to live. We thought about her. If you ran our race there would be official photos and memories for her to cherish for the rest of her life.

    In the end, like I explained jokingly to you in an email,it really was no-brainer. The benefit of this moment in life far out-weighted the risk. We reached out to our running community through Facebook as soon as we made the decision. This is an outstanding community. The immediate support was overwhelming. We were so worried about a backlash but it was obvious the community supported the decision.

    People cried for you, prayed for you, believed in you and loved you. They found hope in you Iram. You had a very hard time expressing the reason that we should make an exception in your original email but in the end, when everyone saw you on the course and knew your story. When you won the overall marathon, when you faced adversity and overcome it, Iram you gave me a reason to allow you to run with a stroller that words would never adequately express.

    Marathons are all about hopes and dreams. What kind of marathon would we be if we thought it through, realized we could follow the rules, safely allow it and still denied you this moment? Not the one we would want to be.

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    1. So glad you allowed him the opportunity. Thank you for giving him the chance to inspire us all.

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    2. Wow super man,you rock.
      A big WOW from Belguim.

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    3. "How would we explain to everyone else why we were breaking our own rule, a rule that we had received more than a few emails and comments about?"

      Wait... are you saying there are *other* people crazy enough to attempt this? That would be so awesome. Let them do it!

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    4. Thank you for your determination! I am a runner and this reminded me of the times I was pushing my sons up the hills every day. It is tough and you believed in yourself! Congrats on your win! I have been in a rut lately and God used you to speak to me.

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    5. You are wonderful people and you certainly made the right decision. I'm so thankful there are good people like you.

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    6. Thank you for being such an inspiration! May God bless you and your family! Much love from Brazil
      Natalie

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    7. Compassion...reality.....love...

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    8. You are such an amazing person Iram! Running 5kms is the best I can do and you... While dealing with all that kind of health issues, you runned a whole marathon pussing a stroller with your daughter on it! I really wish you the best and send my love to you.
      Elli/Athens, Greece

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    9. Praise the Lord you gave him this amazing opportunity. To run on a highway he couldn't even drive on, puts things into perspective of the challenges he faces on a daily basis. Some rules are meant to be broken, and this was one of them. May God bless each of you on the comittee, your families and his. --Bowling Green Ohio

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    10. thank you for putting your heart and soul on the line - never giving up and and showing everyone how any dream can become a reality by pushing our limits in becoming.

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    11. God bless you for such amazing determination! But, why do you think the astrocytoma will cause your death? My son had one, the doctors said there was anything else to do. It would be growing and growing, but with God everything is possible and he decided to fight. After 6 months of his last diagnosis, the astrocytoma was gone. You love your family, keep fighting, God is in your side!

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    12. I just want to say God Bless You!! You are what we all aspire to do, in spite of our circumstances!! God Bless!!

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    13. awsum br0 -AUSTRIA

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    14. God bless you, you are truly amazing and wonderful father. I really inspired by your determination and also your loves to your daughter.

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    15. I am a runner who has pushed both sons in the running stroller since they were born. During a 10k a man ran by me and said you deserve a medal, pushing two up hill on mile 5, giving juice and snacks, and laughing the whole way. I replied: No medal needed, just the laughs. As I ready for my 6th Boston, I am inspired by your love, your will and your strength. May your journey continue!!! You may not be running Boston this year, but you will be in my head and inspiring me to push further, to never give up and to enjoy the little things in life.

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    16. God bless you and your daughter/family. You are such a positive force and the world is a much better place because you're in it. When I think of the what the word hero means, I see your face.....You are MY HERO!

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    17. YOU ROCK AND ARE TRULY SPECTACULAR!! I am terminally ill single mom of a 9 year old and am taping your story to my refrigerator so I can see it every day.
      THANK YOU FOR THE INSPIRATION!! KEEP GOING AND GOING AND GOING!!!!!!

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    18. Iram's story was uplifting and inspirational, but you made me cry, Annie. Bless you, for actually giving his request a great deal of research, time, and input. Thinking about how his daughter will have the coverage of this to cherish after her father has passed is such a rare display of humanity that we are lacking these days. People do not only live in the here and now, and you took that into consideration in allowing Iram to run with Kiana. Maybe it's because I am a historian, but your compassion towards the current Iram and the future Kiana was beautiful!

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    19. dr bronsinsky in houston tx has been curing kids and adults with inoperable brain cancers with his cure since the 90s and the other doctors wont tell ya about this great doctor because then they wont make tons of money from there chemo and other nasty drugs.god bless you and i hope you contact this man

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  3. Thank for sharing your inspirational story - that is all I can say. Thank you

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  4. Amazing story! Congratulations on your win, and on seizing the moments to share with your daughter. My son has no desire to be a part of any of my athletic endeavors, but he DOES enjoy hanging out with me while I ride the bike trainer. The captive audience, maybe. :)

    Good luck in your future...I hope it's far longer than even the most optimistic doctor would predict.

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  5. As a runner with kids (who would never sit still in a stroller for any length of time), I don't think anyone could write a more inspiring version of your race than you. Thank you for sharing your version with us. I have read some of the articles about the race, but none of them left me in tears like your blog, because as a runner I can imagine the wind and hills as you describe. As one who has also watched several loved ones suffer from cancer, I also know that battle is not an easy one. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and Kiana.

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  6. A friend linked to your blog, and the other night I stayed up late skimming through the whole thing. First, congratulations on winning the marathon!! Second, kudos for fighting to live as normal of a life as you can. Third, you're being a daddy that your daughter will always admire.

    And I love that the race director commented. I'd never heard of this marathon, but now it's going on my (too long) bucket list, because of the race director.

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  7. Laura sent me a link to the Huffington Post article, Iram....what a wonderful story!!

    Lots of water under the bridge since Angwin, my friend - you and the lovely Kiana are very much in my prayers.

    Giving thanks for Annie James, as well -- what a great lady!

    God bless.

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  8. Please research the amazing results achieved by cancer sufferers who use cannabis and related therapies.

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    1. Yes!! Please, PLEASE google and research cannabis oil - primarily google 'rick simpson'. THOUSANDS have beat cancer (all cancers - brain too) with cannabis. In Michigan The Cannabis Cancer Project currently has openings for cancer patients in need of cannabis oil - they have several caregivers through out the state that can meet the needs of a cancer patient and provide quality oil. Contact at cannabiscancerproject@gmail.com or you can call 989-607-0384 Michigan Cannabiscancerproject. Or go to Rick Simpson on Facebook and read all the studies and proof! www.phoenixtears.ca There is a CURE!! also try youtube- dennis hill, biochemist who cured his cancer with the oil...it's all out there, you just have to take the first step!

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    2. Yes, please do the research! Cannabis Oil works - Czech Republic legislature just passed a law that is now allowing cannabis to be used for cancers and other diseases. Google it, it's all there.

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    3. you are the most amazing man ever and one day these journals and photos will inspire your grandchildren and you will live on in them and their children a modern day spartacus whose enemy is his illness well done you brave and wonderful man there is no mention of your childs mother tho i wonder why that is if you are not together that is a shame but i will light a candle for you and pray for a miracle for gods healing for you

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    4. Hello, Iram! you MUST! I repeat YOU MUST!!! GET SOME CANNABIS OIL! It is proven to have anti-carcinogenic properties! Thousands of people around the world have cured their cancers with cannabis oil. YOU MUST GET THE CANNABIS OIL IF YOU WANT TO LIVE!

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  9. A friend of mine linked me to your blog.Congrats and thanks for the inspirational story.

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  10. Amazing! A truly inspiring story! Live life to the fullest! Livestrong! Iramstrong!

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  11. Amazing! She will remember these times forever. May you have many more wonderful moments together. God bless.

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  12. You are giving your daughter something she will always remember and will shape her life by. Congratulations on being the kind of father any child would be blessed to have. May many more marathons be in the future!

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  13. as a runner and a mom of a 5 year old, I am often pushing that heavy load in wind, up hills and generally through life. I admire you're race, your determination, your spirit and most of all your love. You are a great runner but more than that you are a great memory maker! Your daughter will have those memories and moments forever, long after the medal.

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  14. About a scientist that came to amazing conclusion how to fight brain cancer by stopping to feed the cancer...

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/10/ketogenic-diet.aspx?e_cid=20130310_SNL_Art_1&utm_source=snl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20130310

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  15. You have so much power, I think God loves you both very much.
    I pray for Healing in the name of Jezus. You are amazing, both.
    God bless you !

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  16. Thanks a lot mate for this inspiring story. May God bless you and your lovely daughter Kiana. Many warm kisses and all the best

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  17. You are an amazing father and an inspirational runner.

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  18. Big support from the Netherlands! You're a real champion!

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  19. The only Champion!!!!!!

    Regards from the Netherlands......

    Jan...

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  20. I have no words for what you are doing. I admire you.
    Greetings from the Netherlands

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  21. Wonderful story! With apologies to JBJ - here is the correct link to the youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKLXEAPjwAw

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  22. fucking great man.. greetings from Belgium!

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  23. God will walk with you every time...

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  24. Greetings from the Netherlands. God bless you.

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  25. You're the boss!!

    Greetings from Holland

    Scott

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  26. Amazing
    I wish they give you some more time with your daughter
    She must be very proud with such a dad

    Greetings from The Netherlands

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  27. Fantastic and inspiring.

    Wishing you and your daughter all the best from Curacao.

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  28. What you have done for your girl is really great! I would like to quote some powerful words : "I am the resurrection, and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live!" These are the words of Jesus Christ. He also said: "for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye SHALL SAY unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." Believe in Him and speak - with your mouth - to the mountain, to the problem, and tell the sickness to leave your body in Jesus Name. Sir, put your thrust in Him, because He is the only one who can give you hope and life. I have seen it happen many manu times... and I hope to see Gods healing power released in your life. Blessings and greetings to you!

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  29. Dear Lord Jesus, you're the healer and the great lord of the miracles and worders, heal your son who sufers now a sickness, you promised to heal and do all good thing for the one who loves you, you can make the bad good and turn the misery to joy ... I ask at this moment a complete healing for the body of this brother and freedom for his soul and let you name be praised ... I ask in Jesus name ... Amen

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  30. You're amazing!! greetings from Swizerland

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  31. love for you and your daughter, i hope you will have a long good time together, and i hope the two of you are together with a lot of loving people, love from Hilde, the Netherlands

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  32. R E S P E C T !! God bless you, and your daughter!

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  33. Ah, bless you, Iram. So proud of you. Much love, friend.

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  34. Congratulations! Found you through Huffington Post. God Bless!

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  35. hello...
    I have huge respect for you
    I live in the Netherlands
    you are an imposing father a good example for a father
    from the Netherlands I send you all the power and blessing
    I will continue to follow you ... the best desired for you guys,,,
    greets Chantal

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  36. Congratulations from Rotterdam Holland,

    Iram ill read your story...i am speachless.
    w.e.l. d.o.ne.!

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  37. BIG RESPECT to you in this sport have a lot good times with your Daughter KIANA. GOD Bless you and your Daughter

    The biggest Champion thats you and your Daughter

    From the Netherlands

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  38. You are an example for many of us. Amazing mental strenght. I wish you and your daughter all the best.

    Steven


    Netherlands

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  39. Hi, this is an amazing story. Congratulations with your win.

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  40. One word : RESPECT!

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  41. Kudos to you man, what an amazing story. Keep the spirit and enjoy each others company as long as possible.
    This story tells me there is still hope for the world.

    Rene from the Netherlands

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  42. You are in the Dutch news as well:
    http://www.telegraaf.nl/tv/nieuws/buitenland/21393635/__Doodzieke_vader_wint_marathon__.html

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  43. God bless you Iram and your daughter Kiana.
    Top man and top father.

    Greetings from Japan

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  44. God bless you Iram and your daugther Kiana.
    You're a top man and father.

    Greetings from Japan

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  45. Iram and Kiana, God bless you both.
    Top man and father.

    Greetings from Japan

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  46. Enormous respect you are the best, what an amazing father You are and greetings from Estonia!


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  47. you give your daughter the best memories, this feeling can you give hair one time in here life ! beautiful !

    greeting Anne-Marie ( Nederland)

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  48. greetings from belgium antwerp. You're daughter will never forget you. many kisses from belgiumxxxxxxxxxx

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  49. An inspiration to fathers & runners everywhere. Just amazing!

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  50. God is incredible, He never takes without giving. He takes for reasons which we might never fully comprehend, however He gives as He pleases and in abundance. With my most sincere best wishes for you and your family.
    Never lose hope in miracle of your Creator, things can happen and they do. You and your family are in my prayers
    Alex Davies from London UK

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  51. Hi Iram and Kiana.Happy St Patricks Day to you both.Just want to say to you well done,keep on running and let tomorrow take care of itself.Texas for ever.In gaelic we say"Go niri an bothar leat"'May the road rise up to meet you.From Dublin ,Ireland.Phil Curley.

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  52. Iram and Kiana,a truly inspirational duo,well done and best wishes for the future.
    Brian (England)

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  53. May God richly bless you and your daughter Kiana. You guys are truly inspirational! Regarding your health challenges check out http://credence.org/ :)

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  54. Your daughter has a Dad she will forever be proud of.

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  55. congratulations Imran to you and your daughter and thankyou for pulling my head out my ass. im'e sitting feeling sorry for myself for something really stupid, but your story is truly insparational and made me realise the important things in life. Good luck to you and your family, you will be in my prayers xxxxx

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  56. for Iram and your daugther Kiana.

    When things look dark for our future days,
    There are thoughts and hopes that truly amaze,
    People that inspire, encourage, give us hope
    You are one of these, with your strength to cope.
    Positive outlooks, empower, lift hearts,
    to us and our loved ones courage imparts,
    So stay on your life course, thinking of others,
    worldwide you have love from your sisters and brothers
    People who share your desire to live,
    Not just for time but inspiration we can give,
    The WAY we live the lives we have today
    Will be the foundation that we will surely lay
    For hope, that our childrens children will know and love
    When our lives are in the capable hands of our God above.

    I created this poem for you and hope that you will fight the cancer with your positivity and obvious courage. May God bless you and yours. Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11 and 12 in the bible says: 'For I myself well know the thoughts that I am thinking towards you is the utterance of Jehovah , thoughts of peace, and not of calamity to give you a future and a hope and you will certainly call me and come to me in prayer and I will listen to you.' Also when they call and ask the J.W.'s for the book 'what does the bible really teach?' (No charge, They conduct worldwide bible education based on voluntary contributions) There is so much of the bibles message of hope explained in that little book, from what I can see of your personality in your blog, you will really enjoy it. Anyway keep running the race for life! :)
    Many kind regards to you and your family. (especially 'kianna' brave little girl.)

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  57. Fantastico
    Che il Signore ti protegga
    Ciao
    Londra

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  58. You are truly an inspiration. Having recently lost my dear wife to a brain tumor, I salute your courage and fortitude in what must be dark times, and I pray that you will enjoy many more years with your daughter.. God bless you and your family.

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  59. Best wishes to you and your daughter. Sending positive thoughts your way and wishing you the very best of luck in the future. With love from Ireland

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  60. Meditate On
    …God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.
    Romans 4:17
    Call Forth What You Want To See!
    How does God respond to our problems? For example, how did He respond to the problem of darkness? The Bible tells us that when God saw darkness on the face of the deep, He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1:3). God saw the light and it was good. He saw good after He spoke! He didn’t speak about the darkness He saw. Instead, He spoke forth what He wanted to see.
    My friend, you are made in God’s image. And God wants you to deal with the problems in your life by speaking forth what you want to see. Unfortunately, many of us tend to speak about our problems instead. We keep talking about how bad the situation is and then we wonder why the whole situation just seems to get worse!
    Now, I am not telling you to deny that your problem exists. The darkness was there and God saw it, but He did not speak about what He saw. Rather, God chose to speak forth what He wanted to see. In fact, He called forth everything of creation—the sun, moon, stars, land animals, sea creatures and vegetation. By simply speaking, He brought all these incredible things into existence.
    Beloved, if you want to see good, then speak the good that you want to see. Don’t say, “This headache is really killing me.” Say, “I am healthy and strong for by Jesus’ stripes I have been healed!” And don’t say, “My boss hates me. He’s always picking on me.” Instead say, “Because I have favor with God, I have favor with my boss!” Call forth the good that you want to see and you will see it!

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  61. You are inspirational

    An Irish Prayer
    May God give you...
    For every storm, a rainbow,
    For every tear, a smile,
    For every care, a promise,
    And a blessing in each trial.
    For every problem life sends,
    A faithful friend to share,
    For every sigh, a sweet song,
    And an answer for each prayer.

    God Bless from Ireland

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  62. you are a true hero. I will not be surprised if you prove the doctors wrong. continue your exercise and active life. I have read amazing stories where people have defied such illness. You still have few years to go- even if the worst happens, make the best out of it. Please give my love to you beautiful daughter. It must be really hard for her. I will be thinking about you two and the inspiration you have given to the world. I really dont know if there is God, but if he/she is there he/she is the second best! Good Luck. People like you always inspire me. :)

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  63. Congrats for winning the marathon. My message to you is that don't give up on living or count you days as Doctors have told u. But run to God Almighty,Surrender to Jesus and live right for Him He alone is the owner and giver of live. Luke Chap.1 verse 37 says everything is possible with God. Take good care of yourself.

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  64. i am so grateful i was lucky enough to stumble across your blog and want you to know the inspiration you have provided me will carry me thru a tough period of my own i send you two sooo much love and any borrowed time i have ...i gift to you do spend with your daughter.CARRY ON !! lovexolightxohealth from BC Canada

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  65. Mimmi (from London)March 18, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Very well done. I do admire everything on you especially the connection you have to your daughter. She has the most fantastic daddy in the world. I really mean it!!!!!

    Mimmi
    from London

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  66. Amazing - the Spirit of God within you.

    May st Patrick bless you and intercede for a miracle as I will too. In the meantime this is St Patrick's prayer for You from Ireland -

    St Patricks prayer ...
    "Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
    I sing as I arise today.
    I call on my Creator's might.
    The will of God to be my guide.
    The eye of God to be my sight.
    The word of God to be my speech.
    The hand of God to be my stay.
    The shield of God to be my strength.
    The path of God to be my way."
    Amen

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  67. This story made me cry.. just because you have expressed so much love for your daughter. It's so beautiful. She looks so happy with you.

    Keep up the amazing work. You've achieved more in your life than most could. Just remember that

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  68. live life. love life. best of luck and May the road rise to meet you, May the wind always be at your back,May the sunshine warm upon your face, and the rains fall soft upon your fields, and May God Hold you in the palm of his hand.

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  69. There's no medicine stronger than the human spirit. Remember that when the going gets tough. I wish you and your daughter all the best for the future.

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  70. I was a sports photographer in England before I retired. I worked with the disabled and for some years I organised the British Wheelchair Road Race Championship. Many of them became good friends but I have never come across anyone with the courage and ability that you have. I wish you well and may you be capable of doing many,many more marathons.

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  71. Iram, you are a very strong man and how wonderful to live your life now with your little girl. I wish you many, many more years of living.
    Continue as you are. Keep running and fight every step of the way.
    With kind thoughts from Vee in a very cold, damp London!! xx

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  72. I cried my heart out while reading this. More power and God Bless to you and your princess.

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  73. WOW!!
    WHAT A LIFE PICKER UPPER...

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  74. May Jesus, the Son of the most High God, and the greatest physician heal and restore you. Amen. The Bible says, if thou canst believe, all things are possible to them that believe.
    May you receive the healing touch of the Almighty God in Jesus' Name, Amen!!!

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  75. You are an inspiration to many. Your daughter must be so proud of her Daddy!:) Keep doing what you are doing! Praying for healing for you......

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  76. Dude. This is just about the most amazing story I have ever read. It's like a story out of Onion but in reverse. I'm not the kind of person who writes these gushy comments. I'm the type who writes a smart-ass funny comment. But your story has inspired me to tears, and will stay with me for many runs.

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  77. So, I always thought those people following Forest Gump wherever he ran were pretty silly and mindless, but, if you're ever deciding to go on one of those long runs across the country, I just may follow you. Shit Happens.

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  78. Congrats! You're an inspiration like "Team Hoyt"

    http://www.teamhoyt.com/

    Cheers,
    Brian

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  79. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Your determination and the love you have for your daughter is overwherming. Being a father myself I could place myself in your shoes and wish I could be half the father and man you are. You are an inspriation.

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  80. God bless you for your determination and may he bless you with life. I am a runner with my own set of problems and I have no excuses to better my health...so help me God.
    I admire your tenacity and love for your daughter.
    God is good. Blessings to you and your family.

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  81. Amazing How You Have Taken One Situation And Turned It Into This Beautiful And Up Lifting Story For Many Of Us And I Wish You A Lifetime Well Beyond 40 Years And Thank You For Being One Truely Amazing Guy God Bless

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  82. You are an Amazing Dad, person God bless you i wish you all the best in your life and hope you live long and take care of your little girl and she will of you. Wish you all the best from my hear once more.

    Miroslav (SRB)

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  83. god bless u and all your family your story really touch my heart you are great thank you go forward

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  84. Iram are you the same Iram Leon that attended PUC. I used to be a teacher there and I remember you. This was an awesome story keep it up your daughter will remember it forever.
    Russell

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  85. I wish I could do the same with my kids... The world needs more guys like you!

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  86. Your story is amazing! I could not help but wonder if what I want to share with you might help you. If all else fails, In my faith we believe that there is a black seed that cures every illness except death. It is called Black seed (Nigella Sativa) I am not a doctor, but I believe in it. Please try.
    Great job and Good luck,
    Parent.

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  87. You inspire others, and you are forming a bond with your daughter that will live in her memory forever. You haven't accepted doctors' prognoses of having a short time to live - Regardless of what they say, you are living it to the fullest! That is awesome! Sending you love and light, keeping you in my prayers. Blessed wishes from a mother of three boys in Georgia.

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  88. Cool article. Your daughter will be way ahead of the field all of her life, because she will always be able to say, "My daddy loved me...so I'm worth it!" Good for you both!

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  89. I pray that God may heal you completely and give you more years to raise your daughter in the way of the Lord. May you turn to Jesus Christ in faith and be saved (if you haven't already) and teach your daughter about the Messiah. May God bless you and your family.

    Bridgette
    USA

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  90. Power to your legs, awesome effort... People like you inspire runners across the world, just wanted to let you know...

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  91. God bless you. Thank you for sharing your story. Saw it on yahoo. Link in the story to your blog. I cannot even imagine how you physically did this, but I have 4 kids with heart disease and the body is an amazing miracle. Couple that with sheer willpower, which you obviously embody, and I can see how you did it. Congrats to you and your running partner! :)

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  92. Congratulations to you and your lovely daughter. What a team! May God bless you. Best wishes for you!

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  93. You are one of the strongest most courageous humans I have ever heard of.

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  94. Good On Ya Pal! You have the heart of a champion, and so does your Daughter! God Bless You Both!
    Stan Crawford - Gladstone Australia.

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  95. Iram i pray for you. I send you Saint Mary to take your sickness from you and give it to me. Im asking HER to give you all the time in the world. Feel confident that you have more time than you think. We love you.

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  96. Hello Leon,

    Please keep the faith, My Son was Diagnosed with a Astrocytoma
    in 1983 at the age of 3, After 16 years of fighting the monster my son is 33 years old now and living a good life.
    I will be praying for you and hope everything goes well in the treatment of your astrocytoma.

    Roger

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  97. Double WOW!!! I can't stop the tears. What an inspiration!! May God Bless and be with you!!!!

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  98. Thanks for being the man God inteded you to be.

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  99. GO, GO, GO --YEAH! Keep it going you are doing just what you are suppose to be doing. Terminally ill is just a label of classification of your condition!!! I had a concussion and it still hurts, but you know what we are "MORE THAN CONQUERORS". Please consider meditating, energy healing (spiritual churches)to see that cancer gone. Many have use visualization to heal cancer and have improved or reversed the condition (no lie). You are such an inspiration to me, as I was having a depressing day. You are giving your daughter so much by everything you are doing. She will be strong...Remember nothing is impossible, as you are showing us that NOW! Thank You XO

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  100. you deserve father of the year!

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  101. Iram and Kiana, You are doing it your way with your daughter as inspiration beside you! When Kiana is grown, you will be her inspiration!

    May God Bless You Both...
    from Tucson, Arizona, USA

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  102. You are an amazing father.
    Keep up the good work.

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  103. A most inspiring race report. I am a 65 year old man and have a small race blog but its nothing like this! As to the stroller debate I've seen hundreds of people running with their dogs on leads over the 25 years that I've been running, and now there are people running with Nordic walking sticks, so with a stroller that's no problem at all to my way of thinking. I wish you much luck and much success for the future!

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  104. Wonderful Iram!!! You are truly an inspiration!!! All the Best for everything you wish to achieve while running...... God bless your princess

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  105. Congratulations on your victory and the power of your strength and love to yoour daughter!Respect!

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  106. Omg! Iv just turned on the computer and saw the write up about you and your daughter.
    Your one amazing man, making wonderful memories with your daughter.

    I hurt my back some days ago and was feeling sorry for myself until I read this, life is for living and doing, not wollowing like I was.

    Thank you for showing us all how strong we can be if we put our minds to it.

    I hope and pray that God gives you strength and courage and lots more time on this Earth with your Beautiful Daughter.

    My heart felt thoughts and prays are with you.

    BERNIE...... DUBLIN, IRELAND

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  107. For iram and his beautiful princess my prayers are with you and your family may God bless you and your beautiful princess in your wife and many many more marathons with your beautiful princess

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  108. Am a father of two lovely little daughters. They aleays keep me alive and make me face life with determination. Its a bond that I can't put in to words. Wish you all the best and many long years of health. Best wishes from Sri Lanka

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  109. you can be healed, you have great determination and when you commit that to trusting God (faith) and with Him fight off this cancer, God can and He is willing to heal you Iram! Check out www.kcm.org for more info.

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  110. you are da man ! keep rocking you are an inspiration.

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  111. Leon,

    Admittedly I didn't hear about your and Kiana's runs until the Yahoo! op-ed.

    My living/ working in Borneo.. well news takes a tad bit of time to hit the masses out here.

    Good on ya,brother.

    Admittedly, I'm 37 and a lifelong, gritty runner. When 33 I told my wife I was a tad run down and 'sluggish' in my runs.

    Wouldn't you that very year the winners of the NYC Marathon and USMC Marathons were 33 years old!

    Keep on keeping on, brother.

    Much love

    ~ Paul

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  112. Great inspiration. Just as you have pushed through the hard time, continue to push for your Miracle through Jesus. Nothing is impossible. Be Blessed and be mindful of Jesus ability.

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  113. I am from an island in the Caribbean far away from you . I believe in the power of the all mighty God . I believe the he has the final word on your situation . I have prayed with faith to Him that he performs a miracle on your life and lets you live until you are old . God bless you and your family always . JC

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  114. God is running with you.

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  115. Let me never complain again. You are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for showing all of us not to give up and to not let our circumstances define how we live our life. You have given us all a gift and you are a wonderful father.

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  116. Congratulations on your win! Your story is an inspiration to us all to overcome our weaknesses, have courage in life and give the best we can give for our love ones. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  117. Hi, I'm from India, and I have seen my Dad leaving me in my hands because of Brain Cancer, I understand your day to day challenges,
    you are a true hero...a true winner,
    may god bless you and your family...
    And I pray for your many wins ahead...you need to keep the influence and light going strong...
    Thanks for sharing your experience...
    With lots of love to your inspiration, your little one...
    even I am a dad of 4 yr. old, these kids are amazing power.

    Good going for more wins

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  118. Iram...thank you for your courage, inspiration, determination and LOVE most of All...you are now one of the Lights in my life to always remember to keep PUSHing forward. Praying for God's BEST for you and your beauiful daughter and family. Thank you for changing my View of Life

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  119. I cried. You are amazing! Thank you for inspiring me to work harder to be there for my daughter. God Bless you and your family!!!!!!

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  120. Iram, with this your strong spirit to survive and live on, the Lord Jesus Christ loves you and will step into your matter for the love and car your're rendering to your daughter, Kiana, because of her God will keep you going to see her progressing and you will take her through the aisle to meet her husband. Iram, Jesus loves you and will heal you as He healed many diseases when He was on earth and still doing that today, if you believe in Him. Iram will not die you will live to see the goodness of the lord in the land of the living in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazarette,Amen. Remain blessed and cheeeeeeers!!!!!!!!!!

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  121. Dear Iram,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and for inspiring us. I have a 3 year old daughter myself who I almost lost at birth. She was 4 months premature and only weighed 1 pound when she was born. She had many health problems and had to stay in the hospital for her first 7 months of life. As a result of this experience, I learned to never take her for granted and to spend as much time with her as possible. I play with her and read to her everyday and tell her I love her at least 10 times a day. However, now that she is 3 years old and healthy, sometimes, it is easy to get lazy and sometimes I forget to kiss her goodbye before I leave or sometimes I want to watch TV instead of taking her to the park. Your story reminded me how precious our time is with our kids and has inspired me to do even better for her than I have been. Thank you so much for giving me this gift of inspiration. You are a great dad and model for us all to follow. I wish you and your daughter all the health and happiness in the world.

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  122. You are super inspiring! I love the relationship you have with your daughter...so sweet. I wish you the best of luck in life!

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  123. You are a true inspiration. I admire your determination and courage. Your daughter is lucky to have a father like you and she will cherish these moments for a lifetime. Thank you for sharing your story. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

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  124. You are an inspiration. Kudos to you. Your beautiful daughter is blessed.

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  125. My thoughts and prayers will be with you so that you and your little girl may continue to run more races. God Bless you and your family! Beautiful story!!!

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  126. You are an inspiration to many but a role model to the most important person ever, your daughter! Keep it up and keep going strong!

    Kelly R
    Livonia MI

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  127. You are a great inspiration for Human Kind
    God Bless you

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  128. You are such an inspiration Mr.Iram!!! Prayers for you and your family all the way from the Philippines. Live Strong! :)

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  129. I am a father with a 25 yo son having no issues but self asteem negatives. I told him to define Discipline; it is icing on the cake of life. Then, there are stories of courage using discipline to over-ride rough edges of existance like this. Whether we have a short or long existance, we must try to grasp as much positive as possible. Or, it was not recognized as existance in any time we do have.

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  130. As a mother and a runner reading this brought tears to my eyes. I hope that I can see you run a marathon with your daughter. Keep making memories.

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  131. I wish I had the strength to do what you can do. Congrates on what you have done. Keep pushing!

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  132. WHAT A STORY MAY GOD GIVE YOU MORE LIFE THEN ANY DR. CAN IMAGEN. MY SON IS A RUNNER AND HE LOVESSSSSS TO RUN TOO AND THIS THOUGHT ME THAT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS IN LIFE IF YOU LOVE TO RUN THERE IS NO ONE STOPPING YOU. THANK YOU FOR THE BEAUTIFULL REAL LIFE STORY, YOUR DAUGHTER WILL HAVE SOMETHING TO REMEMBER THAT "HER DAD MY HISTORY" GOD BLESS YOU; DONT STOP THERE

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  133. With God everything is possible! Amen!!!!

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  134. This has been repeated time and time again and bears repeating and that is your awesome! I pray that our Holy Father in Heaven heal you and you come back stronger than ever - and that's pretty strong given what you've already accomplished. I have a five year old daughter and you are an inspiration to not only to me as I'm certain to most fathers out there. God Bless you..

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  135. What an inspiration you are. Kudos to you and your little one. Wish you the best of luck.

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  136. I had to stop reading for a while because I'm near tears, my heart is racing, I just want to strap on my running shoes and head out the door, only I cant because I'm at work. You are truly an inspiration!!! I have a goal that I'm terrified about and completely ecstatic about all at the same time. Two years ago I started learning how to run. I have never ran in my life except when I was forced to in P.E. classes as a kid. My ultimate goal is to run the L.A.Marathon. It wasnt until this last weekend at the warm up 5K run to the L.A.Marathon that my goal had acquired a deadline. I will participate in the L.A.Marathon in 2014. There are lots of reasons that I'm scared about it, but reading your story has given me even more courage to train and work hard for this and has made me realize that I have been using very weak, petty excuses for myself because my illnesses can be cured with commitment, dedication, and will-power so there is NO EXCUSE! You have inspired me so much and for that I thank you. I will pray for you, your daughter, and your family. May God heal you and strengthen you! God Bless You.

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  137. Just saw your story on Yahoo & it led me to this blog. WOW! You are a wonderful inspiration for us, but especially for your daughter! A daddy is always a daughter's hero, but you are her hero, inspiration and her heart. What a wonderful story. Prayers for you & all who love you!

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  138. keep it up! this is incredible and one of the most inspirational things that I have ever seen! Many well wishes to you and your family!

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  139. Hy, I'm from Italy: as an ex runner (now i'm 60 y.o.!!!) I congratulate with you for this great win. God bless you, your little daughter and your entire family. God luck for your life (I wish you it may be very very loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong and happy)!!!
    Signed: Sandro from Civitavecchia (near Rome - Italy)

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  140. Strength and endurance to you.
    best regard from Lithuania

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  141. As I read your story Iram..I cannot stop crying. Right now, I wished I could be able to hug you and your princess and to whisper how proud we all are for you..Your story really really touches my heart and directly to my soul..You are brave young man. In your determination, you have inspired the whole world. May your story will teach the humanity what it is about love in the real meaning of the word. The passion and the endurance that nothing is IMPOSSIBLE when love speaks to us that manifests to our action. Good luck young man..I wished you will continue to live and contnue to inspire the whole world with your strength, determination, passion and enduring love. May God will touch your ailment right now and turn your ailment into strength and healthy body, mind and soul. God Bless Iram...

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  142. Great dad and great inspiration for us and all parents. Everything will be OK. Los Angeles
    Richard Alvarado

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  143. Congratulations on your win.always believe in yourself an have god by your side until the end.keep push on to the greatest of your life by run

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  144. I'm a mother and grandmother, a cancer survivor and an admirer of yours. What a wonderful son and father you are and what an inspiration. God Bless you and your family.

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  145. Fantastic!!! Never give up

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  146. What an awesome father you are! Truly an inspiration, my friend!

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  147. Awesome courage and strength. Congrats and GOD bless you and your daughter!

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  148. Dear Iram,

    I believe in the power of prayer and miracles and I pray that a miracle happens to you....Your story is my miracle.....thank you! You're an AMAZING, INSPIRATIONAL, man. In Jesus name, God Bless you and your family.

    ML

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  149. God Bless You! Wonderful congrats on your amazing win!! Simply amazing!! I will keep you and your family in my prayers (praying for much better news to come your way)!!!!!!

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  150. What am amazing testimony! Congratulations to you and Kiana! What a great legacy to build....perseverance, against the odds! Love it!

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  151. What an amazing (amazing!) story! As a marathon runner and a mother (of two daughters) I applaud and salute your incredible, truly-inspiring victory (both on & off the race course). I'm reading (with tears pouring down my cheeks) from a little village in England. You are my hero -- as both a wonderful parent and a brave (bad-a**) runner. Way to LIVE OUTLOUD and with more guts-n-glory in 3 hours, 7 minutes, & 35 seconds than most can muster in a lifetime!! Please keep running & sharing your journey...we'll be watching & wishing you (and that beautiful little girl) the very best life has to offer. ♥ Sandy & family

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  152. Your story brings tears to my eyes. And I wonder why all of those days since my 2 year old daughter was born, I spent so many hours making excuses about not running. You just gave me a reason to run with her. Thank you for that story, you are truly an inspiration!

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  153. I had open heart surgery in October 2012 and can barely walk to the car without exhaustion. I am an Oncology nurse so understand your fight. You are an inspiration to all but especially to your daughter who you have taught that tough times will come but we can get through them. How we handle tough times is a measure of our success not that we survived them. Congratulations to you and keep on going.

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  154. I usually don't write comments in anything I read. But you are truly amazing! Next time I put on my running shoes, your story will inspire me to push a little harder, to run a little further and I will be thinking of your story next time I hear "It's My Life" on my iPhone. :)

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  155. Your awesome, gives me hope i can run again one day :D

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  156. I seen this on yahoo & it has also inspired me, as I can see from reading these other comments u are the same to others fr all over. I also say God bless to the race directors for "bending" the rules and showing their love also. You, your daughter and them give us an example that more people in this world should follow. It would make it such a better place to be. This is what LOVE is about!!! CARING, COMPASSION, & KINDNESS!! MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND IT'S MY PRAYER THAT HE WILL HEAL YOU!! We truly need more like you to inspire us all to do our best and live life to the fullest each day.!!

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  157. Man, I am teary eyed. this story is the best / worst thing I;'ve heard. I will remember you Iram, now and forever. You inspire me, not to just run, but to have no regrets and face hardships head-on and with vigor.

    THANKS ALOT!

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  158. you are truly an amazing individual and father. Thank you for the inspiration

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  159. That is amazing and wish you the best for you and your princess . Both of you are big Heroes . Thank you for sharing and being great example for all of us.

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  160. Such an inspiring story. Love it with all my heart. God bless you and your princess. Best wishes from Indonesia.

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  161. By fasting under professional supervision, your body will dissolve the tumor if it hasn't gone past the point of no return. The sooner you do this, the greater your odds. The best place in the world for this biological approach to overcoming pathology is at True North in Santa Rosa, CA. They have 30 years combined experience and there are also MDs on staff. Read "Fasting Can Save Your Life" by Herbert M. Shelton. You can probably fine a copy on Amazon.com

    Then you would have to go on a super clean diet unlike the one you've probably been on otherwise the tumor will come back as it's your diet, primarily, that's caused your body to have to form a tumor as a self protective mechanism. Go to FitonRaw.com and talk to Swayze Foster and order her book and related materials. If you can run a freekin' marathon, you should be able to dissolve the tumor and restore physiological homeostasis.

    Doctor Jack
    Ph.D. Biophysiology

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  162. My prayers are with you for a blessed healing. There could be no greater showing of love than the love you have for your daughter, I am proud I could share your life story. Thank You!

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  163. I heard about you in the radio on the Fish 95.9fm here in California. I had to look you up! You are an inspiration! And truly see how great our God is!!!! God bless you!

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  164. Congratulations Iram on an incredible achievement. I was diagnosed with a grade III astrocytoma in 2009 - a devastating diagnosis as I'm sure you understand. Two years later I ran the 2011 NYC marathon (in 4h 12m) and the Dublin Marathon in 2012 in a pb of 3h 41m. You've got to keep looking forward and staying positive. Keep up the good work, your story is truly inspirational.

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  165. Do you know about Dr Burzinski success with brain tumors using antineoplasty? http://www.burzynskimovie.com

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