Mid-South Hero: He survived childhood cancer. Now he wants to help end it for good.

Updated: Jan. 28, 2021 at 4:57 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - How many ways does a young man who’s thankful for the care he received at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, say I love you?

Anthony Maranise says and shows his love daily.

As a child, Anthony spent more than two years fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer. Lessons he learned as a patient are now being shared with students at St. Ann Catholic School of Bartlett.

“They know how much I love St. Jude just from the ties I wear to the socks and things around my room,” said Maranise.

By day he teaches religion. In his spare time, Anthony is pursuing a Doctorate of Education and he writes. His academic archive ranges from books on cancer and Christian spirituality to sports and the spiritual life and love. From the sale of his five books, he’s donated $20,000 to end childhood cancer.

“He loves to give back not just with his time but with his money,” said Kevin Brazzell, Maranise’s close friend. “Sometimes he gives way too much, and I’ll get on him about that. But he has such a humongous heart that he wants to help fill the void in others.”

One of his students even describes him as a “gift from God.”

”He has such a fun and unique personality to him,” said Megan Milliet. “That I think is really special. He’s welcomed anybody who comes into his life as one of his own.”

Anthony’s motivation is being a servant leader for God and making our community a little more vibrant.

”Being a leader in the community, so that others will see your community as a beacon of hope, a beacon of light,” said Maranise.

Anthony also lends his voice and time as a fellow for New Memphis Institute, a program with roots dating back to the Memphis Jobs Conference of 1979 that’s credited with rebooting the economy.

It’s more proof of the work it takes to be a hero.

”They are going to put in that extra mile, that extra effort,” said Maranise.

Congratulations Anthony! You are this month’s Mid-South Hero.

Nominate the next Mid-South Hero here.

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