MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eRace Cancer, a social media campaign to educate patients about advances and innovations in treatments, says Don Wright will enter four events at the Minnesota Senior Games, as he works to improve his form and speed. Don, who is 77 years old, will enter the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meter races in Mankato in Central Minnesota, despite having an incurable cancer for the last 15 years. Don has already qualified for the 2019 National Senior Games with races in four states, California, Iowa, Washington and New York. Now he’s heading home.
“I’m 100% Minnesotan,” says Don. “I grew up in Duluth, and I’ve lived in the Minneapolis/St Paul region for my entire adult life. In fact, I ran my very first marathon in Minnesota that got me into being a runner.”
Fifteen years ago, Don was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer that affects cells in the bone marrow. He was given less than five years to live, but with new treatments, Don is not only still alive, but well. He ran 100 marathons while on treatment and now has set his sights on the National Senior Games next June, while still taking an oral medication at night and going in for regular I.V. infusions.
“The new modern medications are so easy to take, it doesn’t take away from the rest of your life,” says Don. “I’ve benefitted from modern medicines, and in fact, as I’ve needed new treatments, they’ve been there. Now I enter events around the country to help spread the word to other patients that there is hope after diagnosis, and the possibility of a good life even during treatment.”
Don runs with Ardis, his wife of more than 50 years, and their daughter Sarah, who is too young for the senior games but is their official photographer.
“I can’t tell you what it means to me, nearly 80 years old, to still have the love of my life at my side,” says Ardis Wright. “My father was diagnosed with a blood cancer and we lost him within five years. A generation later, Don is benefiting from new drugs and treatments that were not even developed when he was first diagnosed. We need that medical progress to continue.”
After Minnesota, Don plans runs in the New Jersey Senior Olympics, September 8th, followed by meets in Utah and Florida. You can follow Don’s story on www.eRaceCancer.run, and follow him on social media at www.facebook.com/eRaceCancer and @eRaceCancer on Twitter.