Undersheriff runs a 5k every day in September to raise money for families battling childhood cancer

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and one grandfather in this community is running a 5k every single day in honor or memory of a child who has suffered.  That grandfather also happens to be the Undersheriff in Monroe County and his mission is a personal one. 

Korey Brown is the proud grandfather of four.  The youngest of those grandkids has been through a lot in his little life. “Four months after he was born, my grandson Joel was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma and you could see because he started to get a bump on his head and so, when they took him in they said that’s what it was,” he recalls of the heartbreaking diagnosis. 

Months-long aggressive treatment followed and just when the family thought they were in the clear. “Approximately a year later I remember my daughter calling me in tears saying that they think he has leukemia and she couldn’t go through it again just the reality, that crushing reality that we have to go through all of this again,” Brown recalls. “We didn’t know what was gonna happen with him and the leukemia really rocked him.”

For a few months, it was touch and go. “We looked at him and didn’t think he was going to make it,” Brown said through tears. “He ended up trying a bone marrow transplant from his father because there was no match on the registry.” 

Thankfully, the transplant showed great results at the age of four. Joel is now thriving.  But many of the children he received treatment with have since passed away from cancer.  That’s why Brown runs a 5k every day in the month of September; to raise awareness for the kids, who he calls little warriors and to raise money for the C.U.R.E Childhood Cancer Association.  “They help out with parking vouchers, they help out with food and they also help out with things that you don’t think about,” Brown explains, “they’ll help out with babysitting if you need it, they’ll help out with getting your furnace cleaned, cutting your grass, doing those kind of things because your life is so involved around this disease that you really don’t have time for other things.”  C.U.R.E is a local organization and the donations are used to support local children and their families. 

Undersheriff Brown asked News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke to run one of the 5ks with him and she brought along a number of News10NBC co-workers who also support the cause, many of them with personal stories about how their lives have been touched by childhood cancer too, “childhood cancer doesn’t mean that much to you until it means absolutely everything to you and that’s all you think about is how you’re going to deal with this disease,” Brown says.

Click here to donate to C.U.R.E Childhood Cancer

Click here to learn more about C.U.R.E Childhood Cancer

Click here to learn more about donating blood

Click here to learn more about the bone marrow registry