WASHINGTON & VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Patients Rising, a non-profit patient advocacy organization, today said Don Wright is moving ever closer towards reaching his goal of running 100 marathons. This is an impressive feat for anyone, but especially for Don, because he is actively undergoing treatment for cancer. And he is 75 years old!
Don began running marathons in June, 2003, when he felt a backache that would be diagnosed as multiple myeloma, a cancer of cells in the bone marrow. Now he is well past the five-year prognosis that was the expected survival when he was diagnosed, and Don shows us that advances in treatment are helping turn many cancers into a chronic disease that can be manageable long-term. Don will be in Virginia Beach, VA, for the Shamrock Marathon, www.shamrockmarathon.com, on March 20th - his 93rd marathon since those first pangs of cancer.
“Shamrock was originally scheduled to have been marathon number 94,” said Don Wright. “I make it look easy, but my disease is real and a recent medical setback kept me from participating as planned in the New Orleans Rock N Roll Marathon in February. But after some serious back pain and concerns about a possible cancer flare-up, I’m pleased to say I’m back in shape to run.”
For seven years, Don was on an oral medication that kept his cancer in check while allowing him to be free to run marathons across the US and Canada. However, multiple myeloma cannot be cured, his remission ended, and now Don is counting on newer regimens to keep his cancer on the run.
“We are ever so thankful for today’s medical advances,” says Ardis Wright, who has been married to Don for 52 years. “Medical innovation has given Don these wonderful extra years, giving our entire family the great gift to continue to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and to create and share in loving memories that otherwise would not have been possible.”
Don runs under the E-Race Cancer banner, a social media campaign that has raised awareness of multiple myeloma and medical innovation on behalf of a variety of charities for several years. Don is pleased to be running now on behalf of Patients Rising, a non-profit which is fighting for patient access to new, innovative treatments.
“Don is a shining example of what revolutionary medical discoveries and breakthroughs can achieve when research is transformed into treatments,” said Terry Wilcox, Executive Director of Patients Rising. “Our goal is to empower patients to advocate for lasting policy reforms that streamline access to medical innovation, personalized treatment and the highest quality care they need and deserve.”
The Shamrock Marathon will be Don’s 2nd in 2016. Don says, “Here’s hoping the luck of the Irish accompanies me from start to finish in Virginia Beach.”
Patients Rising: http://www.patientsrising.org/