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Community runs to support Dyess C-130 pilot battling cancer

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: May 18 2013 08:39:40 PM CDT
Updated On: May 20 2013 09:17:49 AM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Friends of Dyess C-130 Pilot Jason Yardley organized "Yards for Yardley" to support him in his battle with cancer.

Capt. Jason Yardley, 36, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a type of oral cancer that's affected his tongue. He thought radiation took it away last year, but it's returned. Yardley has a wife named Heather and they have four children.

More than 100 people came out starting at 7am to run in their choice of a 10K, 5K, and 1K run at Wylie Junior High School. Both Jason and his wife said they were overwhelmed by the out-pour of care.

"Normally, I'm kind of not feeling well and have a hard time getting up to do anything, Jason said. Today I've been standing most of the morning and talking to people as they come by and see them and to feel their support has given me a tremendous amount of strength."

The strong show of support from the community sent a loud and clear message to the Yardley family. That they're not alone. A high school friend of Jason's wife Heather organized the run from her home in New Mexico.

"I see it as just a super hard time in their life and my whole thought is, I would hope that if something happened like this to my family that I would have the support as well," Angie Lawley said.

Heather Yardley said she appreciates the support the her family is receiving. She's using this time as an opportunity to encourage others.

"I think it's very important to let everyone know our story because you never know who it will touch and who's had similar situations in their life," said Heather.

Angie said, "When things happen bad to people, that's when you see the good come out in others to be able to help and they have been so receptive of the help.

The Yardley's said the treatment Jason's receiving seems to be working and they are just taking it one day at a time. They raised $4200 at the run.