Running toward a cure for cancer

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DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa -- For many life-long runners,  like Tim Harner,  the Boston Marathon is the ultimate goal.

On April 17th of this year, Harner checked that item off his bucket list.

"When I crossed the finish line in Boston, tears just shed down my eyes," said Harner.

Just about a year and a half before Harner ran Boston, life was much different for the runner from Schuylkill County.

"One day I went out for a run and I made it a block and I was more tired after that block than I was after a marathon. That's when I decided I needed to go to the doctor."

And what the doctor told him, changed his life.

The then 29-year-old was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a blood cancer that impacts bone marrow.

"Honestly the first thing that came to my mind is that I'm going to die at the age of 29."

After the diagnosis, the next few months for Harner were filled with chemotherapy and a lot of prayers.

"I made a deal with God, I said 'if you give me a second chance at life, if you find me a match, I promise I won't take it for granted.' And I got my second chance and I'm living life."

In March of 2016, Harner got his match and received a bone marrow transplant.

Today, he's doing much better.

"Actually I just came from the doctors. Everything is good. I'm sill in remission. There's no signs of cancer. I feel great. I tell people I'm probably in the best shape of my life physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, I am great right now."

He says part of feeling so great now has to do with the support he received from fellow survivors and people at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Central PA.

"I got a second chance at life, so I wanted to do anything possible to help others get a second chance at life."

Now, he makes it a point to let people know hearing the words "you have cancer" is just the beginning of your story.

"It is the three words you do not want to hear. But it's not a life sentence. A lot of people think it is a life sentence and I'm here to help them realize it is not."

You can hear story's just like Tim Harner's at the Leukemia and Lymphoma society's light the night event.

That's Friday night, September 29th, at John Wright Restaurant in Wrightsville, York County.

FOX43's Jackie De Tore will be the EMCEE at the event.

Registration begins at 5pm.

If you can make it, but would like to donate, you can do so here.