MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Each year on race weekend, a St. Jude Hero is recognized with the “Hero Among Us” award for their passion and commitment to share the St. Jude mission.
This year there was a twist to the award announcement.
ALSAC President and CEO Rick Shadyac surprise St. Jude Hero Kent Stoneking by recognizing him as the award winner and surprising him with two special friends -- St. Jude patient Kael and his mom Ashley.
Kent lost his leg after a motorcycle accident but was running just 90 days after his amputation. Not long after, Kent’s brother convinced him to run the full marathon as a St. Jude Hero during St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.
He knew he was signing up for a marathon but had no idea it would bring the hospital’s mission to life in such an unexpected way when he met St. Jude patient Kael at the finish line.
Kael’s mom Ashley introduced Kent to her son because she wanted Kael to that see nothing is impossible, even with an amputation.
Although they received their amputations for different reasons, Kent and Kael both lost their left legs.
Until Thursday’s announcement, Kent had not seen or spoken to Kael or his parents since the first met, but he continued to find inspiration in the young boy’s story, motivating him to raise money as a St. Jude Hero and get others involved.