Cancer Survivor Finishes Charity Mud Run, With Help From Friends - New York News

Cancer Survivor Finishes Charity Mud Run, With Help From Friends

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PEMBERTON, N.J. -

57-year-old David Goldberg works out three times a week at Alex Wilkie's mixed martial arts studio. Not so unusual, except that Goldberg has only one leg. David lost his other leg to cancer early last year, which makes what happened last Saturday in Pemberton all the more amazing.

"I do everything that I would do if I had two legs," says Goldberg. "I see someone doing something, I go, 'Oh, I could do that. And I do it."

The event was a charity mud run: three-plus miles of grueling, military-style obstacle course. David and his buddies entered the run as a tribute to Allie, the granddaughter of the Wilkie who died of cancer at the age of 13.

David Slater is no bigger than Goldberg. But he slung his friend over his back, and carried him.

"I brought him to each obstacle and he would complete each obstacle on his own or with our help," says Slater. "Spectators are looking at us cross-eyed, like 'what is this guy doing, draped across his back?' And I would put him down and they would realize he only had the one leg."

Then came the biggest challenge, captured on this video posted to YouTube: a 16 foot wall standing between Goldberg and the finish line.

Alex Wilkie didn't bat an eye.

"So we knew that we were going to get Goldberg up that ramp somehow," says Wilkie. "I got down at the very bottom of the ramp and kinda put myself right at the very bottom and started the pyramid so that people could kinda start stacking and stepping up on each other."

His teammates pushed Goldberg from the bottom, while course volunteers pulled from the top.

"Everybody's grabbing me, pushing me up, which was great!" recalls Goldberg. "But I am thinking, please don't drop me!"

Wilkie says a crowd began to form.

"The whole place, the people that were there were cheering, were screaming, they were really going crazy. The support was overwhelming."

And with a final tug, Goldberg was up on top of that wall.

"Total triumph," says Goldberg.

Moments later, after a perilous slide down the other side, elation.

"I had chills in my spine for him," remembers Wilkie. "I was so happy for him."

"You could do anything. You're only limited, absolutely true, by your mind. I didn't make that up. Somebody else did, shrinks or whatever. But it's true," reflects Goldberg.

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