ROCHESTER, NY (WHEC) – September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and a grandfather in this community is running a 5K every day in honor or in memory of a child who has suffered. This grandfather also happens to be the Undersheriff of Monroe County and his mission is personal.
Korey Brown is the proud grandfather of four children. The youngest of these grandchildren has been through a lot in his little life. “Four months after he was born, my grandson Joel was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and you could see that because he was starting to get a lump on his head and so when they took him in they said he was what it was,” he recalled of the heartbreaking diagnosis.
Months of aggressive treatment followed and just when the family thought they were safe. “About a year later I remember my daughter calling me in tears saying they thought he had leukemia and she couldn’t go through that again just the reality, that crushing reality that we have to reliving it all,” Brown recalled. . “We didn’t know what was going to happen to him and the leukemia really shook him up.”
For a few months, it was touch and go. “We watched him and we didn’t think he was going to make it,” Brown said in tears. “He ended up trying a bone marrow transplant from his dad because there was no match in the registry.”
Fortunately, the transplant gave excellent results at the age of four. Joel is now thriving. But many of the children he received treatment with have since died of cancer. That’s why Brown runs a 5K every day in September; to educate children he calls little warriors and to raise money for the CURE Childhood Cancer Association. “They help with parking vouchers, they help with food, and they also help with things you don’t think of,” Brown explains, “they’ll help you with babysitting if you need it, they’ll help get your furnace cleaned, your lawn mowed, do that kind of stuff because your life is so tied up with this disease that you really don’t have time for other things CURE is a grassroots organization and donations are used to support local children and their families.
Undersheriff Brown asked News10NBC investigative reporter Jennifer Lewke to run one of the 5k with him and she brought along a number of News10NBC colleagues who are also supporting the cause, many of them with personal stories of how their lives have also been impacted by childhood cancer. , “Childhood cancer doesn’t mean much to you until it means absolutely everything to you and all you think about is how you’re going to manage this disease,” Brown says.
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