LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Little Rock Marathon is more than just a race for many people.
This year, Jason Conway's purpose for running is to bring awareness to a cause. He traveled to Little Rock from Pennsylvania to honor 4-year-old Jacob Trucks.
At first glance, Jacob Trucks is as happy and active as any kid his age could be.
"He gets to play soccer and he gets to go to preschool," Jacob's mother Holly Trucks said.
However, getting to this point in his life was a battle for him and his mom.
Jacob Trucks was born with a rare condition known as Prune Belly Syndrome, also known as Eagle-Barrett syndrome, that left him without stomach muscles.
"He had kidneys that didn't work when he was born, which in turn made us have to have a kidney transplant," Holly Trucks said.
Holly Trucks donated one of her kidneys to Jacob Trucks, who underwent 17 surgeries over six months at Arkansas Children's Hospital.
"We have lots of days in the NICU that we didn't know what the end of the day would be like," Holly Trucks said.
According to Holly Trucks, her faith and the team of doctors and nurses helped keep her son alive.
She also credited the Children's Miracle Network, which is an organization that raises money and awareness for kids who need critical treatments.
"They pay for things that insurance necessarily can't be billed for," Holly Trucks said.
That's where Conway comes in.
His son was born 25 weeks premature, and since 2005, Conway has dedicated a lot of time donating to the Children's Miracle Network.
"We always joke that my son was the Million Dollar Baby because of all the medical bills," Conway said. "It's our goal, as a family, to raise $1 million to pay it forward for another family."
On Sunday, Conway is running in the Little Rock Marathon in honor of Jacob Trucks.
Conway met the Trucks family for the first time on Saturday.
"To see Jacob smile and to see the interaction of Jacob and his older brother, as well as his mom, just makes it all worth it," Conway said.
Competing in the Little Rock Marathon is a part of his mission— helping children all over the country through marathon racing. Little Rock is his fourth stop.
"Our goal is to do 50 marathons in 50 states, honoring 50 children who were born prematurely," Conway said.
For Holly Trucks, it's a mission that truly means the world.
"I'm very thankful for him," Holly Trucks said. "Not only will it help Jacob, but it'll help all the kids that are in Arkansas."
Conway is raising $2,500 for the Children's Miracle Network. All the money donated is going directly to the Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Click HERE if you're interested in helping the cause.