brain tumor runner

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tyler Beam has battled brain tumors for the last 20 years, which has taken its toll. Some days start a little slow for him.

"I mean who exactly wants to get up and go running every day. Not me sometimes," said Beam, who often struggles to keep steady. "Hence this beautiful cane from Rite-Aid. [It cost] $4.99."

But once Beam gets going, he's not going to stop.

"It's interesting because it's actually much easier for me to run than to walk because when I slow down, the balance gets a little shaky," said Beam.

Running has been his outlet for the last 20 years, as he's battled brain tumors. "September of 1999, that's when that showed up, and that's when my journey began," he said.

Four times they've come back. Six types of chemo. Eight brain surgeries. Sixty-five rounds of radiation. Most recently, he had a procedure to drain spinal fluid building up in his skull.

"What we can do is insert a tube into the cavities that create this fluid and allow it to drain elsewhere," said Dr. Tom Yao, a neurosurgeon with the Norton Neuroscience Institute.

He's faced challenge after challenge for two decades, but also too many rewards to count including two great kids.

"Approaching this 20-year milestone is something that I never really thought was possible," said Beam.

So Beam runs. Runs to keep moving. Runs to keep fighting. Runs to survive.

"I want to be able to mentally and physically go into default mode and that mode being it's used to pain, it's used to pushing myself so I don't have to worry about that," said Beam.

But also, he runs for those who can't.

"I'm just so fortunate to be able to be in this position to do this, because there are so many survivors who don't have that ability to do that," he said.

His next race is the Norton Sports Health 10K.

"A lot of people ask me why I'm running in this race, especially after basically four months being flat on my back," said Beam. "It's just an opportunity at least for me to push myself and push my body."

Once again he's raising money for Gilda's Club, a local organization that's close to his heart. He's raised more than $50,000 over the years.

"I've done the easy part. I've just run the race. Everyone else has been so generous and kind to donate," said Beam.

Beam might start a little slow, but he knows once he gets going he won't stop.

"Run, crawl, walk. I'm going to finish this race," he said.

There's still time to register for the Norton Sports Health 10K. You can also find a link to Tyler's Gilda's Club fundraiser here.

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