Thousands of runners ran in the Rock-n-Roll Marathon on Sunday morning.
Among the crowd of professional athletes was an extraordinary runner.
73-year old, Don Wright of Minnesota has incurable cancer. Wright was diagnosed with myeloma, a blood cancer in 2003. Since then he’s ran at least one marathon in all 50 states. The New Orleans Rock-n-Roll Marathon marks his 78th marathon. His goal is 100.
“We’re going for 100, but after that we’ll go for 101,” he said.
Wright said the support of his wife and daughter encourages him to run.
He takes an oral cancer drug called POMALYST, that is approved for myeloma patients when other treatments have stopped working.
He said he feels good and running is a great way to combat cancer.
“I believe healthy living, diet, exercise, proper sleep all help. Seems to be working for me,” he said.
Other runners are deeply inspired by him.
“Just when you would want to give up, he inspires you to really give it that extra push,” Charles Miller said.
“He is leaving a legacy. A legacy of we don’t have much time, so we have to do it now,” Caleb Dufresne said.
Wright remains optimistic that through healthy living, anything is possible.
“This cancer may get me someday, but it isn’t yet,” Wright said.
He runs to raise awareness for The International Myeloma Foundation (www.myeloma.org) which supports myeloma patients and for Team Continuum (www.teamcontinuum.net) which helps cancer patients with cost of living expenses.