• Charlotte cancer patient, doctor finish Boston Marathon together

    By: Gina Esposito


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It was Kirk Wilkerson's dream to run the Boston Marathon and now he has the medal to prove it. In 2016, he met Doctor Aaad Usmani and was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer called Smoldering Multiple Myeloma.

    "Some people make a plan for dying. I was like hey I'm going to make a plan for living." Wilkerson said. "It's funny how this disease has brought us together from two entirely different worlds and we're best friends."

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    Wilkerson underwent a sucessfull clinical trial at Levine Cancer Institute.

    Over the past 10 months he hasn't needed further treatment. Amazingly, the pair has since taken on extreme challenges together. Last year, they left their wives and children to climb Mount Everest.

    "They get worried, they raised their brows. They are cooking up something, what are they up to next," the pair said.

    This week, the pair ran in the Boston Marathon.

    "We had our moments where both us were struggling in course, you just kept on going because you had that support on your side," Dr. Usmani said.

    A video shared with Channel 9 shows the incredible moment Dr. Umani's 6-year-old son ran onto the course to join them in the final mile.

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    Wilkerson said, "To see the joy on his son’s face sharing this moment crossing the finish line with his dad brought me to tears.. because the bond of father and son is very unique."

    Both families wore orange in support of a huge fundraising feat of $225,000. The money went to the Myeloma Research Foundation, some could go to Levine Cancer Institute.

    They said their goals are to find a cure and inspire others.

    "The biggest message we want to send you can do things, life can continue," Wilkerson said.

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