A Fort McMurray man is running in this year’s Boston Marathon to help combat rare diseases.
Blake Crossley found out in December that he’d been selected to take part in the marathon in April, through the National Organization for Rare Disorders.
For the past two years, Crossley has been racing in marathons in honour of Tessa Booth, a 3-year-old Fort McMurray girl with a rare form of lung cancer.
Back in August 2016, Tessa was diagnosed with pleuropulmonary blastoma.
Crossley tells Mix News running the Boston Marathon has been on his bucket list for a while.
“Always wanted to run Boston, but this one feels really special because it doesn’t feel like it’s just me out there. I’ve got Dawn, I’ve got Tess and I’ve got my whole family, so, it’s kinda cool.”
Meanwhile, Tessa’s mom Dawn says since their last checkup earlier this month, Tessa’s scans show that she is now cancer-free.
With most recent scan’s showing no signs, Dawn says it means the world to her that Tessa will get to live a normal life.
“She’s going to live on and be able to run marathons and see Blake do them and push those limits, say ‘I’m not going to give up’ and ‘I’m going to keep doing this’ and that’s where he’s the biggest cheerleader for my daughter but I’m the cheerleader for him.”
As for Crossley, he had to raise $5000 with NORD in order to qualify, with all funds going to charities to highlight individuals with rare disorders, like Tessa’s.
Crossley himself suffers from eight different heart conditions and even lives with a pacemaker.
He says he’s determined to not let his heart condition get in the way of his goal of running the marathon.
“With the pacemaker, I am allowed to run. You just have to watch your sprinting and just ensure you’re doing a steady pace you’re allowed to do. So, a marathon is no high risk.”
Anyone who wants to follow Crossley’s journey can check out the ‘Boston4Tessa’ Facebook page.
The Boston Marathon takes place on April 16.