NAPLES, Fla. - This weekend, hundreds of people will be pounding the pavement in the annual Hooters to Hooters Half Marathon. One of those runners will have a little extra inspiration pushing him through. He's raising funds for a young man with Leukemia.
Training for a half marathon is no easy task. "Getting up early in the morning, long runs, a lot of sweat, but it's worth it," Brian Orsine said.
It's especially worth it when every run has a reason. Sunday, Orsine, a Big Corkscrew Island Firefighter, will race in honor of Chase Hoover, a 19 year-old with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
"I love to run and thought it would be cool if I can just do it for a purpose and do it to raise awareness to this, Leukemia, and any kind of Cancer, and to try to raise money for his family with their medical bills mounting," Orsine said.
On the outside, Hoover seems like any 19 year-old, laughing, texting and spending time with his girlfriend. You'd never know what he's endured. But the tattoo on his calf says it all: "Chase Life."
"Living like you're dying is something everybody should do," Chase said. "It's the greatest feeling in the world. You don't have any regrets and you don't take life for granted."
Chase is waiting anxiously to go back into remission, so he can finally get a bone marrow transplant from his brother Jerrod.
"He believes he can survive this, and we do too," Chase's mother Dodi said. "We really do. This transplant is going to be what gives him his life back."
As the bills pile up for the Hoover family, Orsine hopes his strides will help alleviate the financial burden.
"There's people worse off than me, and just knowing he's doing this for me is a great honor," Chase said. "I'm really happy about it."
"With that in mind, it'll help me push a little harder and go a little faster for him," Orsine said.
Chase hopes to find out by Thursday if he'll be able to get his transplant. Anyone who would like to support Chase Hoover and his family can make a donation in his name at any Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union.