Cancer survivor raises money for research one step at a time

Chad Carnes turned his passion for running into charity 5k

By Paul Giorgio - Producer

DEBARY, Fla. - Chad Carnes is this week's Getting Results Award winner.

Carnes, along with a group of friends, organized the Chad's Light Up Leukemia 5k foot race that was held on June 10 at Gemini Springs Park.

"I'm the entertainer today," Carnes said, as he looks around the starting area.

Nearly 100 people gathered for the 7 a.m. start. Carnes recognized friends and family as he moved through the crowd, giving everyone he saw a hug.

"I'm in awe," he said. "When you talk about emotion, that's the emotion, the amount of support I've been given."

Carnes has twice been  diagnosed with leukemia. After his second diagnosis, he felt it was his obligation to spread the word about the disease and help raise money for research.

"When the reoccurrence happened last year, I felt it was my mission. By the grace of God, I was given the voice and given another opportunity to really share my story and bring awareness," he said.

Carnes found inspiration in his childhood passion for running. He ran in high school and used the sport as therapy after his first diagnosis.

Carnes was nominated for the Getting Results Award by a friend, Lorrie Kovac. "It's his attitude," Kovac said. "He's never been one to give up. He's showing that you can fight through it and be brave."

Carnes story is one of triumph. After receiving a bone marrow transplant from his brother in February, he was declared cancer free earlier this month.

"There was a time when we weren't sure if this was going to be a celebration or a memorial," Kovac said .

Carnes used the 5k run walk that bears his name as an opportunity to stretch his legs for the first time in months.

"I have to be somewhat careful," he said. "The Mayo Clinic won't appreciate me, kind of, breaking the rules."
He completed the 3.1 miles in under 40 minutes.

The race raised over $12,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Carnes and his friends are already planning the next event for February.
 

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