CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It's the busiest time of year for Saint Nick. In between checking the list once and twice, he found some time to sit down with NBC Charlotte's Sarah French to discuss his passion for giving back.
"What's it like being Santa?" Sarah French asked.
"It's just fun!" Santa said. But Santa didn't always think he'd become Saint Nick.
"It's probably the last thing in my mind I thought I would be doing," he said. "All of a sudden my beard turned white and a lady actually asked me to do some photos for her."
The rest was history.
The thing really drawing attention to Santa is what he's doing when he's not delivering gifts -- he's running.
"I eat a lot of cookies, I've got to do some training," he said.
It wasn't always all smiles for Santa.
At the age of 8, he lost his dad to cancer and at 23, he lost his mom.
"Cancer is not a good friend of mine," Santa told Sarah French.
He always was thinking of a way to pay his parents back but could figure out what to do.
"Then in 2011 my brother in law was diagnosed with lymphoma," Santa told Sarah French. "The very next day I saw a billboard for team in training, which is a group that runs for the Leukemia [and] Lymphoma Society. I said 'Hey, that's a sign from God.'"
He signed up to run his first marathon that night, and hasn't looked back.
Since 2011, Santa has run 12 full marathons, 18 half marathons and one 50-miler.
He runs to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as well as the Isabella Santos Foundation.
All the money from his fundraising page goes directly to the charities.
"How does it feel when you're not only running, but you know you're running for a cause?" Sarah French asked Santa.
"It makes me keep going," He told Sarah French. "I've met some amazing cancer fighters and you think about these kids that have it, you think about adults that have it, or the adults that have kids that have it ... There are some strong folks out there."
Sarah French asked him why he believes it's important to give back to the community.
"It was just something that I was brought up believing," he said. "We can't wait on somebody else to do it. We can't wait for someone else to raise money for cancer."