When he woke up one day with a sore chest, he assumed he’d hurt his ribs in a mixed martial arts fight.
But it turned out that Justin had a form of leukemia that ended up destroying his lungs. In 2010, he got a double-lung transplant; his donor was a 19-year-old suicide victim named Jarred McKinley Carter.
Eight months after the transplant, Justin finished a half marathon. And he just did his second one. Running with his new lungs, he’s raised $39,000 for cancer research and hopes to raise $11,000 more in his next race in November.
That would bring him to $50,000 for the year, which would allow him to name a cancer-research project. He plans to name it after Jarred, the teenager who gave him his new lungs.
In other feel good news, 19-year-old Nick Ruth of Towson, Maryland was diagnosed with leukemia eight years ago, and beat it four years ago. His cancer has been in remission ever since. And now…he’s also WON THE LOTTERY.
Nick says that for the past year, he’s bought a Mega Millions ticket from a 7-Eleven close to where he works. He wasn’t scheduled to work last week, but he bought a ticket anyway, hit five of the six numbers, and won $250,000.
After taxes he’ll get $165,000, but he’s not planning on spending it, he’s planning to donate to charities like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Nick says, “People keep saying I deserve it and talk about what I went through, but there’s people far worse than what I went through that can use the money more than me. I’m just glad I can help out in a big way.”
Nick is working as a dishwasher right now, and says his goal is to work in law enforcement. He just applied for a job and he’s waiting to hear whether he got it.