CENTENNIAL, Colo (CBS4) When thousands of runners line up at the start line for the Sports Authority Rock n’ Roll Denver Marathon, one group will have a special motivation – Tanner Seebaum.
“These are all people who came to support Tanner. They know Tanner, they know Tanner’s family. This team is about Tanner,” said Todd Ablowitz, an organizer of the team and neighbor to Tanner and his family.
Tanner Seebaum battled brain tumors much of his young life. First diagnosed at 22 months, Tanner was in an out of the hospital for years. He was in remission for 8 years, then his brain tumor returned in May of 2012.
“Tanner was an amazing kid. He lived life. Every day counted and he lived it to the max,” said Matt Seebaum, Tanner’s dad.
In May of 2012, doctors told Tanner he had about 3 months to live. He lived more than 13 months and fulfilled his dream of being a DJ, playing some of the hottest stages in the industry.
“He refused to let cancer, or sickness, or disease run his life. He controlled it,” Seebaum added.
Tanner’s will to live and his family’s mission to fund pediatric brain tumor research inspired neighbor Todd Ablowitz to start the marathon team.
“Running is hard. Running is really hard. And it hurts a lot of the time, so if you have a bigger inspiration it makes it easier to get through the miles,” Ablowitz told CBS4.
“It means the world to us. They’re helping us raise money for our foundation, Tanner Seebaum Foundation,” said Stephanie Seebaum, Tanner’s mom.
The family started the foundation in 2006 and so far has raised about $800,000 for pediatric brain tumor research at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
“We’d like to find a cure,” Stephanie added.
More than raising money, Ablowitz and his team want to get Tanner’s message out.
“I never would have thought I would have run a marathon. I’m way beyond myself in running and that’s what Tanner was all about,” Ablowitz explained.
The Sports Authority Rock n’ Roll Denver Marathon is Sunday October 20th. It kicks off at 7:15am at Civic Center Park, the course winds through downtown Denver. The Denver DJ community is hosting the music at mile 24 in Tanner’s honor.
–Written for cbsdenver.com by Special Projects Producer Libby Smith