71-YEAR-OLD CANCER PATIENT TO RUN ALASKA MARATHON ON WAY TO ALL 50 STATES
—63 Marathons in 44 States Completed Since Cancer Diagnosis; Over 1,500 Marathon Miles Run-
—Running To Support Other Cancer Patients—
June 18, 2012 – Don Wright, who lives in the greater Minneapolis area, is planning to run marathons in all 50 states. He is running despite the fact that he has had cancer for more than eight years. And despite the fact that he is 71 years old!
“Here I am living with cancer, and my biggest complaint is runner’s knee!”
Don began running marathons nine years ago, just as he was diagnosed with myeloma. As of this month, he has run 63 marathons in 44 states since his myeloma diagnosis in 2003. Don races under his “E-Race Cancer” banner on behalf of the charities the Tackle Cancer Foundation (www.tacklecancer.org) and Team Continuum www.teamcontinuum.net), both of which help pay essential cost-of-living bills for cancer patients.
Don is planning to run the Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska, on Sat, June 23rd. (http://www.mayorsmarathon.com/index.cfm). Alaska will be state 45—just five more to go!
Don’s cancer, myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a blood cancer that affects cells in the bone marrow and can damage bone. It cannot yet be cured. With new drugs and new treatments, it can be managed long term. Don is on an investigational new drug that may represent an even newer generation of treatment options for patients.
“I’m running with cancer, not from cancer—because living with myeloma is a marathon, not a sprint!” says Don. “I’m lucky—I take just a pill a day, so I am free to literally run around the country instead of being tied to a doctors’ office for traditional chemotherapy treatments, and I don’t have to deal with the side effects those treatments could bring.”
Don has never looked back since he began running marathons shortly after he was diagnosed with myeloma. In just eight years, Don has run over 1,500 miles. Don hopes his determination to complete marathons in all 50 states will inspire others living with cancer.
Don’s 2012 schedule includesMaryland,West Virginia,Vermontand, his 50th state,Hawaii.
ABOUT MULTIPLE MYELOMA:
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow. Once a rare disease of the elderly, multiple myeloma is being diagnosed in growing numbers and in increasingly younger people. Each year approximately 20,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States. New treatments have extended remissions for many patients, measured in years, not months, with a good quality of life. For more information contact the International Myeloma Foundation www.myeloma.org.
ABOUT TEAM CONTINUUM:
Team Continuum, a 501(c)3 not for profit organization, is dedicated to helping cancer patients and their families minimize the disruptions, hardships and uncertainties of everyday life so that they can focus on crucial medical care. Team Continuum provides immediate and vital assistance – both practical and personal – such as paying household expenses, offering friendship and moral support, and funding health care facilities to enhance the delivery of care, communications and educational services (www.teamcontinuum.net)
ABOUT TACKLE CANCER:
The Tackle Cancer Foundation pays utility bills for families who have a child diagnosed with cancer. TCF also raises awareness and supports initiatives towards finding a cure for the blood cancer, multiple myeloma, in memory of our founder, former NFL linebacker, Elijah Alexander (www.tacklecancerfoundation.org).
Stephen Gendel– 310-878-4652
Deanne Eagle – 917-837-5866