Organizers call first Spencer Duncan 5K an "inspiring success" - KCTV5

Organizers call first Spencer Duncan 5K an "inspiring success"

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Photo Courtesy: KCTV5 Photographer Steve Tur Photo Courtesy: KCTV5 Photographer Steve Tur
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

More than 475 runners and walkers, as well as 100 military service people running in formation, turned out to Olathe South High School on Saturday morning to celebrate and honor the life of Army Specialist Spencer C. Duncan, and to honor the brave men and women who have given and who continue to give of themselves to ensure freedom for the people of the United States, according to a news release.

Duncan was living his dream of making a difference in this world when he was killed in action Aug. 6, 2011.

"We are so very touched by the amazing first-year participation in this race," Duncan's parents, Dale and Megan Duncan, said in the release. "Today, we have seen and felt the love of so many, and we have just been astounded by the response and participation today. We are so very grateful to all of the organizers, volunteers and participants."

One participant of the Make It Count 5k Run/Walk was hospitalized after having a cardiac event, paramedics said. A 76-year-old man, Dr. Frank H. Ise collapsed just before the finish line and was found to be in cardiac arrest, at which time CPR was started. Paramedics said they were able to restore the man's pulse and transport him to hospital.

"I had a feeling that something might not be OK with the runner because he seemed more pale and sweaty than the other runners, so I watched him as he passed me. I didn't really know what was wrong with him, but my paramedic training prompted me to watch him," Maria Beermann-Foat, Captain/Paramedic with Johnson County Med-Act (Medical Action), who was off-duty and volunteering for the 5k event at the time said in the release. "I first responded to help with CPR, but frankly it was the team of us in the crowd with the ‘chain of life' that kept him going. He got his pulses back; it was awesome."

The Duncan family expressed their grateful appreciation to the first responders, firefighter, paramedics and fellow participants who assisted Ise.

The Spencer C. Duncan Make It Count Project is dedicated to supporting organizations, communities, and individuals who choose to make a difference in the lives of veterans. The Make It Count Project was born out of the amazing life Army Specialist Spencer C. Duncan, who served the 158th Aviation Regiment in the General Support Aviation Battalion, U.S. Army Reserves. Spc. Duncan served during Operation Enduring Freedom, and received honors including the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Click here for photos from Saturday's 5K.

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