Bronx man running Damon Runyon 5K raises money to honor mom with cancer

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The Damon Runyon 5K will take over Yankee Stadium on Saturday to raise money toward cancer research, and for one Morris Heights man and his mom, it's part of their Mother’s Day celebration.

Vilma Delgado was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer last August. 

“I don't think I’ve hugged her as hard as that day because I just didn't know what else to do,” says her son Juan De Jesus.

De Jesus, who is a videographer at News 12, was in the NYPD police academy, working toward his goal, as she went through chemotherapy.

He eventually did not make it through the academy and realized just being there for his mom wasn't enough.

“He said, ‘Mom, we are doing the run for you,’ and I was so excited I said yes,” says Delgado.

He created a team for the 2019 Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium.  

“If I could I would switch places, I would take it right out of her and put it in my body, but I can't do the chemo for her. I can't force her to take medicine, but you know if running three miles and having a little bit of soreness, it's a small price to pay,” says De Jesus.

Organizers say 100% of the money raised for this event goes directly to support cancer research by young scientists.

“We raised money, and I just admire that people are able to put some faith in me,” says Delgado.

De Jesus says his mother's fight and grandmother's spirit is giving him the inspiration to get healthy, pass the academy and finish the race on Saturday. 

“That metal that those women had in them after suffering to give me a better life is what I put into the fabric of my life,” says De Jesus.

De Jesus has raised more than $800 for the race.

His mother says she will be there to see her son run.

“I’m really proud and I’ll be there, I don't care how I feel, I’ll be there,” says Delgado.

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