• Runner shares story of medical struggle as inspiration for Disney Marathon

    By: James Tutten

    Updated:

    WALT DISNEY WORLD, Fla. - From the costumes to the characters, people who ran in Sunday's Walt Disney World Marathon said it's a whole lot of fun.

    WFTV News spoke to many runners, and many shared their stories on why this day is so important to them.
    This marathon takes runners through all four theme parks and ESPN's Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World resort. 

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    One of the runners, Ron Wartley, was recently diagnosed with leukemia. This is his second time running the marathon, and he's had to fight leukemia twice since last year.

    “I actually got sick two days before the race,” Wartley said. “I was running a 102 fever because for two days, I teared because I didn't know if I was going to make the race."

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    Wartley said despite the obstacles he had to face he was determined to make it here Sunday. 

    “I'm doing this for everybody, to prove a point, don't give up,” Wartley said.

    He said after the race he'll be heading back to Tampa to continue his treatment. But he said he wanted to focus on the race and make sure he crossed the finish line to motivate others.

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