Families in St. Jude Marathon share stories of heartbreak and survival – FOX13 News Memphis


MEMPHIS, TN. — Millions of dollars are going into the coffers of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after the St. Jude Marathon wrapped up for the 21st year.

A mood happiness and community filled the streets as 20,000 runners carved a 26-mile path through the heart of Memphis.

According to a tweet from Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, the marathon raised $34 million.

“It’s tradition, I come every year, almost 12 years now,” said Chris Reid, dancing with a group of friends near the finish line.

For others turning that corner carried a heavier meaning.

“Job is our son. … He passed away five and a half years ago from DIPG; it’s a brain cancer. He was five and a half,” said Chase Kemp, standing next to his wife Katie. “We come out here generally carry 60 pounds in a ruck sack, which is what he weighed at the end of his life.”

“It’s amazing there’s so many people out here cheering on. We’re not the only family out here that’s lost a child. … My son, who has the most obscure name, in a story of suffering, went through a life of suffering.”

Some celebrated another year of triumph for a friend.

“Sarah is a good friend of ours. We take about a dozen people from Kansas City. (Sarah’s) been coming back and forth to Memphis. She’s a survivor and we come here to support her,” said Teresa Kemps after crossing the finish line.

Those competing in the marathon were also given a chance to ring a bell which symbolizes the victorious ending of a person’s battle with cancer.

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