Justin’s Story

Wind For Change Logo

When I was 14, I was misdiagnosed with cancer in my leg. At the time I was using my speed to run track so you can imagine the fear I felt as a young teenager. It turns out I actually had a staph infection in my bone, which is just as dangerous and rare. I had immediate surgery, spent a month in the hospital and then more time at home which included experimental IV treatment. I have since recovered, and was able to successfully run track in High School and continue to run long distance road races today.

Now I want to help kids going through their cancer treatments realize that they have a full life ahead. Help me take out the paralyzing fear the children and families face with a cancer diagnosis by raising money for the Cool Kids Campaign.

My volunteer work with the Cool Kids Campaign takes two forms: the Wind for Change contest I run in schools across Maryland, and the fundraising I do through the Cool Kids Running Group. I ran the Baltimore 10-Miler in June 2011 with a small twist. I started in last. That's right. Dead-last in a pack of 1,000's, but I raised pledges for each runner I passed before I finished. All told I passed over 3,000 people! I've also participated in the Baltimore Running Festival the last few years and welcome you to join me on this year's team!

I must also add a huge thank you to the parents, teachers, friends, and family that have supported my work with the Cool Kids Campaign over the years. I could not have done it without you.


Justin Berk


Watch Justin finish the 2011 Baltimore 10 Miler