FOR COREY Buckner, the path of his life changed in an instant. A diagnosis of Stage 2a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2013 shifted his focus from life’s ordinary routines and dreams to a fight for his life. His daily battle cry became “always endure.” Sustained by his faith in God and the support and care of Brittany, who would soon become his wife, Corey endured radiation and chemotherapy and was declared to be in remission in 2014. Although his medical expenses far exceeded $100,000, Corey was debt-free and overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness throughout his illness. Now his greatest desire is to help others who are enduring life-altering circumstances.
In the hard seasons of life, joy can be absent. Surviving is the only thing on the day’s agenda. A major medical diagnosis like Corey’s brings financial burdens, shakes up daily family routines, and turns spouses into caregivers. And yet, for all the negative things brought on by such a diagnosis, it creates room for God to move, and it is here that Always Endure shows up. Always Endure exists to remove barriers, in order to care for patients who are enduring such seasons. It also works to remove financial barriers for foster and adoptive families who provide children with loving homes.
With a desire to raise money to bless someone going through a similar health crisis, the couple began to plan a fundraising event. Fayetteville’s first annual Slawburger Festival provided the perfect opportunity,and the Always Endure 5K kicked off the day’s events, raising $4,000. The event has grown each year exponentially, and Always Endure became a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 2017, which opened doors for additional funding through grants. The couple’s season of hardship did not end with the remission of Corey’s cancer. Doors appeared closed as they longed for a child of their own. In 2017, after three consecutive miscarriages, two resulting from failed infertility treatments and procedures, the couple began to pursue adoption. Again, by the grace of God and through the generosity of others, the Buckners endured.
Their daughter, Bella Faith, came into their lives in 2018, and their adoption expenses were paid in full. Their desire to help those in medical hardship increased, and they added adoptive and foster families through Bella’s Snow Ball, a 5K held each November that kicks off Fayetteville’s annual Host of Christmas Past celebration.
“I think for us, it’s a joy to run to the difficulty in people’s lives, and it’s for a purpose. It’s an opportunity to share the greatest message: new life through the gospel of Christ and how He can meet our greatest need,” Corey said. “While some people don’t want to get involved in the messiness, we want to run to it because that’s where we’ve been. We’ve been in hard seasons, but God has used them to grow us and bring so many good things out of it.”
Run to the messiness with Always Endure, literally or figuratively. Participate in their 5K runs, or you may make donations monthly or on a one-time basis. Volunteers for upcoming projects, and an experienced volunteer grant writer are needed. -GN