By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) — For 32-year-old Eamonn Kelly, crossing the finish line during a 5K race this weekend is more than just a dream come true; it’s really a new start at life.

“I’m going to set my goal and do it,” he told WBZ.

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Kelly was born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that affects the lungs. The older he got, the more his life began to deteriorate, he said.

“Before the transplant, I was on oxygen 24-7,” Kelly says. “I had to carry a tank with me and it made life difficult for me.”

Refusing to accept life this way, Kelly underwent a double lung transplant at Massachusetts General Hospital exactly six months ago today.

The science teacher at the St. Columbkille Partnership School in Brighton says he participated in a 5K race to help raise money for the school.

He said he wanted to prove to himself and show his students that no matter the pain, never give up on your dreams.

When he crossed the finish line, his wife was by his side.

“I’m so proud of him,” says Elena Elfred. “He’s been working for this. He did better than I did.”

Kelly says he hopes to inspire people to reach for their dreams and donate organs to those who desperately need them.

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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

Paul Burton