GOLETA, Calif. - One year ago, a Goleta woman was faced with any mother's worst nightmare: having a very sick child.
Today, she's hoping to raise awareness in the community through running a half-marathon in October.
Meet James, a cute kid with a big smile and a love for just having fun.
But it was almost cut short one year ago when doctors found a tumor in James' colon.
"It was an emotional roller coaster. Days of just crying at the thought of I could lose my child," said his mother, Kirsty Kenny. "We went into outpatient surgery to have it removed. And then we had to wait a week while it was in pathology to get it tested. And luckily we got the phone call that it was benign."
It's now a year later, and Kenny said she is happy to hold her son tight every day and focus on her new mission.
"Kind of like thanking the universe or thanking God for a healthy child," Kenny said. "I wanted to give back and help those that aren't as lucky as we have been."
Kenny is raising money and running the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco in October as a part of the nonprofit Team in Training. It's a fundraising program of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
"We train with the team twice a week," Kenny said. "We do speed training and hill work on Tuesdays, we do our long run at 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings."
James' grandfather Tom also joined the team, but he is running and raising money for more than just his grandson.
"My youngest brother has CLL," Tom Kenny said. "He's had it for about 10 to 12 years and that's ongoing once you've got it, you've always got it."
The father-daughter pair is hoping the community will come together and help them raise their goal of $6,000 and most importantly raise awareness up and down the coast.
"We shouldn't take life for granted," Tom Kenny said. "We should live every day to its fullest and just be thankful for what we've got."
There will be an Irish Night fundraiser on July 30 at 6pm at La Arcada Bistro on State street and another one at Chicken Ranch at the Goleta location Tuesday, July 22 from 5-9 pm.
More Events: www.sbtnt.com
You can make a donation or learn more about Team in Training on their page.