Scheduled to Run in the Air Force Marathon, Dayton, OH, September
Don was Diagnosed with the Blood Cancer Multiple Myeloma in 2003
NEW YORK & DAYTON, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MY LIFE IS WORTH IT (MLIWI), a non-profit patient advocacy
organization, today said that 75-year old cancer patient Don Wright is
on the verge of achieving his goal to finish at least 100 marathons
since he was diagnosed 13 years ago. Don was told then he had the blood
cancer multiple myeloma. At that time doctors gave Don only three to
five years to live. Now Don plans to run his 98th marathon
with cancer, while on active treatment, at the 20th
Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio, September 17th.
“Don shows us what can be accomplished with the indispensable and
vitally important discoveries that have been made in medical
innovation,” says Bob Tufts, former Major League Baseball pitcher and
co-founder of MY LIFE IS WORTH IT (MLIWI). In 2009 Bob was also
diagnosed with myeloma. “The value of these medical advances is
astronomical, to say the least. I mean, talk about a Moonshot! That’s
exactly why once again I need to emphasize our guiding principle at
MLIWI, which is, ‘We are not average.’”
Don was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003 just as he began running
marathons. For the past seven years, Don had been taking a pill powerful
enough to keep him in remission until recently, when there were signs
that the cancer was returning.
“I’m on my fifth treatment in 13 years, many of which were not available
when I was first diagnosed,” says Don. “When the cancer came back, we
tried different treatments and settled on a new combination regimen,
adding a new infusion that stimulates the immune system, to the pill
I’ve been taking all these years. It’s not your grandfather’s
chemotherapy. I’m pleased to report, the cancer is responding and with
this treatment aimed directly at the cancer, I’m still able to run
marathons, work part time and be with my family.”
Don runs under the eRace Cancer banner (www.facebook.com/ERACECANCER)
a social media campaign that has raised awareness of multiple myeloma
and the value of medical innovation on behalf of a variety of charities
for the past six years. Don is pleased to be running now on behalf of MY
LIFE IS WORTH IT, organized in 2014 to give patients a voice in
decisions about access to the latest medical treatments.
The 20th Air Force Marathon www.usafmarathon.com,
will be Don’s 98th overall, his seventh in 2016, and his
second in Ohio. He ran the “Flying Pig Marathon” back in 2008. Ardis
Wright, Don’s loving wife of 53 years, and their daughter Sarah, will
accompany him and run the half marathon.
Don says, “I ran over 160 miles in August just to prepare for this one.
I haven’t run a marathon in almost 3 months, so I’m eager to get going.
Heck, I even bought a new pair of running shoes.”
Don says he appreciates the opportunity to help raise awareness of a
rare cancer, to let people know a diagnosis is not the end of the line,
and, as Bruce Springsteen sings, Don says he was “Born to Run.”
Deanne Eagle, 917-837-5866