• Cancer survivors running 10th Boston Marathon for Dana Farber

    By: Jason Solowski , Vanessa Welch

    Updated:

    BOSTON - For Chris and Christie Powers, 26.2 miles is nothing. Both are cancer survivors. 

    Chris battled leukemia when he was 13. Christie battled thyroid cancer. 

    Christie was diagnosed just as their son, Danny, was recovering from a brain tumor and had lost her father to colon cancer a few years earlier.

    "It just felt like a black cloud that followed us wherever we went. " said Christie. 

    Danny's brain tumor first showed up when he was 4 years old after falling ill during a family vacation.

    "You come off a plane from vacation and two hours later you're in the emergency room," Chris said.

    Fortunately, Danny's tumor was benign and it was removed, but it kept growing.

    "There was that feeling that every time it came back it was sort of like that slap in the face that I can't believe this is happening again," said Christie.

    After two craniotomies, it was becoming too dangerous to operate.

    They took Danny to the Jimmy Fund Clinic at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to slow the growth.

    They tried chemo first, but Danny became allergic after a year, so a clinical trial used for treating melanoma was suggested.

    "The same type of mutation that was happening with them was happening with his brain tumor and it worked," said Christie.

    "They literally saved my life, if they hadn't done anything, the tumor would have kept growing," Danny said. 

    He now lives the normal life of a 16-year-old. He's on the lacrosse team.

    The tumor hasn't grown in three years. He is considered stable, but they regularly go back for brain scans.

    "So you kind of keep putting one foot in front of the other," said Christie.

    It was during Danny's chemotherapy that Christie decided to run her first Boston Marathon for Dana Farber.

    "When you go in and see those kids, those families, what they're going through. It's just, it's extremely motivating," said Christie.

    This will be her seventh year running for Dana Farber. It's number three for Chris.

    They're running because they survived cancer. They're running because so many don't.

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