Bernard Llave: running marathons after dashing leukemia

Nineteen months ago, the Rock and Roll Half Marathon was the last thing on Bernard Llave’s mind, after a painful toothache turned into a trip to the hospital.

“I get to the ER: ‘hey, you have leukemia, we need to find out what type it is,'” recounted Llave. “The biopsy results come back – it’s and aggressive, type AML. Right away, I am undergoing 10 days of chemo and then, 2 months later, I am getting a bone marrow transplant.”

On June 1st, Bernard is running the Rock and Roll Half Marathon to raise awareness about the bone marrow registry.

“Joining the registry, you can potentially save someone’s life, and – being Filipino – there aren’t many donors, so if my sister wasn’t a match, I might still be waiting… or not here.”

This won’t be Bernard’s first half marathon; since undergoing treatment, he ran the La Jolla Half in late August.

“When I ran the La Jolla Half, it is 13 miles, so I picked a person for every mile and ran it for them.

Bernard, now in remission, has taken a potential negative life situation and turned into a positive.

“I started a non-profit called Be Strong where we get the word out about the bone marrow registry and just being active. Because, if I wasn’t fit during my treatment, who knows what would have happened.”

Categories: KUSI