Preston Williams, firefighter battling cancer, to run Marine Corps Marathon

Photo: Jennifer Donelan/WJLA

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A marathon can be tough for even the best athletes, but one runner is dealing with extra challenges - he's battling prostate cancer.

“My stomach is in knots," Sgt. Preston Williams says. "It’s been a long journey. Five years of fighting the cancer, now I am on chemo."

Sgt. Williams, who works with D.C. Fire and EMS, is a father of five and in the midst of his third battle with prostate cancer. He was just 40 years old when he was diagnosed.

“It’s scary and I would rather be fighting a fire than running a marathon,” he says.

While going through aggressive chemotherapy this summer, Williams, 47, decided on the bucket list goal to run a full marathon.

“A lot of guys are worse than me. I am not doing this for myself,” he says.

Training was sometimes interrupted by the effects of the chemo, but he didn’t let that stop him.

“The spots where they found it have diminished. I go to work, I fight fires every day, so I am blessed.”

Sgt. Williams has been with the D.C. Fire Department for 23 years, and on Sunday, he will not be alone.

“I have my brothers in the Fire Department that are going to be right there by my side running with me, walking with me. Without the brothers in the Fire Department... it wouldn’t be possible for me to do this race.”

With each step, Williams hopes to raise awareness to save lives while fighting for his own.

"I'm trying," he says. "I'm not going to stop."