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KIMT News 3 – Running a marathon alone can be a challenge most of us never carry out in our lifetimes.
For Don Wright, it wasn’t about the accomplishment or the glory, but instead, a new lease on life.
“I run along and I feel like I’m drifting past all the houses and whatever, when I’m in a race. I feel like that drug and i are just sticking that cancer right in the eye,” said Wright.
Yes, you heard right.
In 2004, Don was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a rare blood disease that attacks the bone marrow and was given only five years to live.
Nine years later, this native Minnesotan is running in Rochester’s Med-City Marathon for race number 73, but he still has plenty more to hit his goal of 100 marathons.
“The doctors said, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it, because it seemed like, although there was the diagnosis and bone marrow samples and all of that, it was stable,” said Ardis Wright, Don’s wife.
Prior to hearing the diagnosis, Don had only run one marathon in his life, but today the marathon circuit has become a family affair.
“When I was in high school, girls didn’t run. So it was a brand new thing for me when I finally quit raising kids and found running,” said Ardis.
For Don, it’s all about taking control of the disease that most said would control his life.
A message he shares with anyone suffering with any serious condition.
“Whether you like it or not, you’re in charge of your own health care. you’re in charge of your own treatment,” said Don.
His treatment, has run.
Just last December, he finished his goal of running 50 marathons in 50 states, and he’s not looking back.
“I love him to pieces. I’m glad he can still run.”
Don finished today with a time of five hours and seven minutes.
He says he’s proud of that, but it could have been better if the weather would have cooperated.