Navy Seal Meets Mother of Teen Who Donated Lungs for Double Lung Transplant at Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Filed in: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, runDisney

Navy Seal raises $50,000  for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of teen who donated lungs for his double lung transplant

Only a few months after getting married, Justin Legg’s house in Louisiana was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. It was around that time that he started to feel pain in his legs. In June 2006, before his 28th birthday, he was told he had leukemia. Chemo and a bone marrow transplant followed. He also developed a hives and a disease.

Legg went back to work as a Navy Seal in 2007, but by 2009 he had to resign because his lungs began to collapse and his liver began failing. He eventually slipped into a coma and doctors weren’t sure he would live much longer. He was in a coma for two weeks but miraculously awoke, and doctors told him he would need a double lung transplant to survive.

On July 22, 2010, just one day after Legg was put on an organ waitlist, he had a double lung transplant. His lungs came from Jarred Carter, a 19-year-old teen from Titusville, Fla.

Eight months later, Legg completed a half marathon mostly by walking. In Sept. 2012, he completed another marathon by walking and running.

Though Legg still struggles today to do simple task like mow the lawn or climb a set of stairs, he continues to train for marathons despite this hanging over his head: most lung transplant patients die within 5 years from complications, according to statistics. Legg registered for Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon to help reach his goal of raising $50,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in hopes of finding a cure for his cancer.

At the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Legg reached his goal of raising$50,000 and allow him to name a Leukemia research project after someone. He is choosing to name it after Carter in thanks.  He met the mother of the Florida teen who gave him his lungs for the first time at the finish line of the marathon, a fitting place given that Disney Parks are where dreams come true.