Man with cancer runs against all odds

Posted at 5:47 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 20:38:54-04

Incredible advances in medicine have allowed for a man on a mission to survive ten years past his initial prognosis.

Don Wright blew past his goal of running a marathon in all 50 states and is now on track to finish 100.

Just after running his first marathon, the now 75-year-old was diagnosed with an incurable cancer but he wasn't about to cross the Boston Marathon off his "bucket list."

Finishing his U.S. marathon tour in Hawaii, Wright upped the challenge to complete 50 more.

"I love to run," he said.

The mostly retired lawyer and computer consultant hasn't let Multiple Myeloma slow him down. It's a cancer of cells in bone marrow.

There is no cure for this type of blood cancer.

"I don't know the worth of another year of my life or another year with family and friends or even another day in my running shoes but I know my life is so much richer because of advancements in targeted, new medications," Wright said.

The Minnesota man's longtime treatment stopped working most recently. He started a new therapy on Tuesday and packed his suitcase to head to Idaho.

Topping out the 100 list is Saturday's Lake Lowell Marathon coming in at number 94 for Wright. And, he's ready for the challenge.

"Oh, I'm up for it," Wright said on Thursday. "I'm feeling good today and I can't imagine feeling worse on Saturday."

With plans to take in as much of the scenery as possible during his estimated 7-hour run, Wright knows his wife and daughter will be trailing right behind him.

The three have been along on the journey together every step of the way.

Wright feels lucky to have access to oral medications and new types of infusions that tend to not make him sick.

"I've lived to meet my grandchildren and they know their grandpa and that's one of hundreds of thousands of beautiful stories that are being made possible by innovative, new drugs," Wright said.

He runs on behalf of several campaigns to raise awareness and research money for life-threatening diseases including: E-Race Cancer, Patients Rising and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.