HOUSTON (KTRK) --It was an amazing moment you may have missed at this year's Chevron Houston Marathon. A young runner struggling to complete the race got some help from a stranger. And now, they're strangers no more.
Melissa Prompuntagorn finished Sunday's marathon with someone by her side, someone Melissa never even met.
"I felt it in my body, my mind, my emotions," she said Melissa. "My morale had gone down so low."
on mile 18, it got tough, both physically and mentally.
At mile 23, Melissa stopped running and was picked up by marathon volunteers in a van.
"Just constantly thinking, I'm not going to do this. I can't do this, I'm letting everyone down," she said.
She was crying, sobbing. She was supposed to be running for her friend, Christina, who was battling lupus and in chemotherapy.
"As I sat there, I thought it is what it is," said Melissa. "Just let it be."
Volunteer Robert Palmer stepped in.
"I was like, nah, this is just not gonna happen," he said.
The volunteer had a plan.
"I turned around and said, 'You feel like you can run?' I stopped the van and we got out and I took her with," said Robert. "The time we got out of the car, she said to me, 'Do not let go of my hand.' I said, 'I'm not going to let go of your hand.'"
Robert held Melissa's hand for three miles, reassuring her that she could finish.
"I had an angel next to me, lifting me up from where I was at that point," said Melissa. "I was considering myself a failure."
Together, they crossed the finish line. Melissa didn't give up. She did it. She finished her very first marathon, with a new friend, an unexpected angel by her side.
When Melissa finished the marathon Sunday, at the same time, her friend who she was running for finished her last chemo.