Survivor returns home in Million Dollar Marathon

By Beau Ebenezer

July 20, 2013 Updated Jul 20, 2013 at 10:42 PM CDT

BRIMFIELD Ill -- For Brimfield native, Brady Barnstable, running a marathon is nothing new.

But to hear support for a cause like this was a brand new story for him and his family.

"If you would have asked me 12 years ago as I was graduating from Brimfield High School if I would be running through Brimfield for this reason, I would have been shocked," said Barnstable. "I never would have envisioned doing anything like this."

Eight months ago, Barnstable and his family were in shock after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Since then, doctors have removed two malignant tumors.

Less than a year after his operation, he's leading a group of three other cancer survivors in their leg of the Million Dollar Marathon.

"To see cancer not be so negative in all of these people who have been through unbelievable episodes and dealings with cancer is so amazing," said Brady's wife, Hannah Barnstable. "Words just don't describe. It's like nothing I have ever seen."

The group traveled from Galesburg to Bloomington Saturday, each survivor completing a marathon of their own.

They are part of o160 runners traveling from the east to west coast of the country, raising money for cancers of all kinds and spreading awareness for exercise and healthy diets.

"You think of somebody having cancer, and you think of somebody being 60, 70, or 80 years old," said Brady's father, Larry Barnstable. "You never think of a 30-year-old having cancer. It was definitely a shock. They just had a new baby boy that's six months old. It was a shock to him, us, and everybody."

Barnstable was lucky enough to pass right by his childhood home on U.S. 150 in Brimfield.

From the sounds of cheers it was clear he had all the support he needed.

"The message that I have learned today is it's better to have a big support group when you are going through something like this," said Brady. "I want to inspire people to get out and build your support network, especially if your going through this struggle.

The organization has until August to reach its million-dollar goal.

So far, they have raised half of that.

You can donate at coasttocoastforcancer.org.