SEATTLE& WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Patients Rising, a non-profit patient advocacy organization, congratulated 74-year old Don Wright today for his continuing work to raise awareness of blood cancers and for being an advocate for access to new life-changing treatments. Don ran his first marathon June 21, 2003, when he had the first signs of multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that affects cells in the bone marrow. In the 12 years since then, he has run 90 marathons with cancer, while on active treatment, as a living example of what funding and research can achieve.
Don’s 91st marathon with cancer is scheduled to be the Seattle, Washington marathon (http://www.seattlemarathon.org) November 29th. His 90th marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, at the end of October. Don’s adult daughter and his wife of 52 years travel with him and run half-marathons so they can spend their “golden years” together.
“My treatment is not your grandfather’s chemotherapy,” said Don Wright. “For seven of the last 12 years, I took a pill to manage my cancer. Imagine, a pill to treat cancer! I didn’t lose my hair, I didn’t lose my lunch and I was able to keep running. That’s what research can accomplish.”
However, multiple myeloma cannot be cured, so Don is counting on continuing progress, research and access to the latest treatments to provide the next remission and the remission after that.
“Our mission at Patients Rising is to raise awareness of the need for continuing research, drug development and unencumbered patient access to the latest treatments,” said Jonathan Wilcox, policy director and co-founder of Patients Rising. “We are working to help patients continue to work or spend time with their families, celebrate birthdays and weddings, and yes, even run marathons. But our work is not done, and we thank Don for doing so much to help us all appreciate the value of medical innovation.”
Don’s progress can be followed on Facebook and Twitter under the banner eRace Cancer. In 2012 Don completed at least one marathon in all 50 states. We will be working with Don to help select his next marathons on the way to achieve his new goal of running 100 marathons with cancer.
Don’s running blog: http://minnesotadon.blogspot.com/
Don’s myeloma blog: http://myelomahope.blogspot.com/
Patients Rising: www.patientsrising.org