July 17, 2017 12:48 PM
Duluthian Don Wright ran his first full marathon in 2003. Two weeks later, he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a bone cancer. Fast forward 14 years, the 76-year-old has now completed 100 marathons, with a new goal on the horizon. Suffice it to say, he has not let cancer beat him.
Multiple Myeloma is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. Normal cells are found in the bone marrow of the body and are important to the immune system. It has the word "multiple" in its name due to numerous different patches of malignant cells in the cancerous area. There is currently no cure for this type of cancer. At the time of his diagnosis, Wright was told he had maybe 3 to 5 years.
Defying the odds, Wright is now reading to his 4-year-old grandson.
"This is a moment that wasn't supposed to happen, but it is happening," he said.
The Duluth East graduate tearfully explains that much of why he's gotten this moment is thanks to medical advances in the past 14 years. Wright says that more than a dozen new medications have been made available to help fight Multiple Myeloma. He's also gone through treatments of infusing anti-bodies in the cancerous area.
Now, at the age 76, Wright races to raise awareness about medical advances for people living with cancer. However, he is trading in his marathon shoes for some sprinting shoes with a new goal in mind: The 2019 National Senior Games.
You can learn more about Don and his journey here.
Updated: July 17, 2017 12:48 PM
Created: July 17, 2017 09:36 AM
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