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BBP alum completes run from Bayport to Islandia for brother fighting cancer

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He did it — 13.1 miles.

Anthony Bruno ran the length of a half-marathon this weekend, from his boyhood home in Bayport to his younger brother Chris’ house in Islandia. The big brother completed the run early Saturday morning to honor Chris, who is fighting colorectal cancer, and to raise money for Chris, who can’t work because of his condition.

“Everything about my 13-mile journey was very symbolic of Chris’ battle with cancer the past four months,” said Anthony Bruno, who completed the run on his brother’s 31st birthday. “The feeling I had when I saw Chris at the end of my run will only be eclipsed when I get to give him the biggest hug and tell him ‘You did it,’ after he reaches his finish line and finally beats this disease.”

The first nine miles of Bruno’s run came pretty easy, he said. His running regimen — five days a week to match the five days a week that Chris Bruno received radiation treatment — had served him well.

But miles 10, 11 and the rest were a challenge.

“The only way I got through the ninth through the 12th mile was with the support of my family, providing me with water and encouragement,” Anthony Bruno said, “along with the kindness of strangers who along the way cheered me on with a few honks of their horns.”

Mile 12 was the most difficult. Bruno was heading west on Veterans Highway and needed to run a significant portion of the mile uphill.

“When I finally got over the top of the hill, I saw the finish was only a short mile away,” Bruno said. “I hope Chris will see the short mile ahead of him, his life after cancer, as he face his own uphill battles as treatment progresses.”

Chris Bruno was diagnosed April 2 with stage 3 colorectal cancer. He will undergo surgery this month, and then up to six months of chemotherapy. The family said that doctors are hopeful Bruno will be cancer free by early 2022.

Through the run, Anthony Bruno has raised more than $5,500 for the Colon Cancer Foundation, he said. Additionally, the GoFundMe page that Anthony Bruno started on his brother’s behalf has raised more than $13,000.