Don Wright: Outrunning Cancer

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  • 10/23/2015

The Marine Corps Marathon is being run this weekend in Washington, DC.   The whole idea of a marathon never made sense to me.. why run that far when we have cars to get you there faster?   

But that was before I met Don Wright.  Don is 74 and running in his 90th -- as in just 10 less than a 100 -- marathon.  

Oh, and Don has had multiple myeloma since 2004.  

I met Don about 40 marathons ago in 2012.   He had just finished running his 50th marathon in Hawaii, which was the 50th state in which Don has completed such a race. 

He was diagnosed with the disease 12 years ago when his doctor told him that he had about 4 years to live, max.  Back then, all he wanted to do was run one marathon. He was fortunate enough to be put on an experimental medicine (now approved) that knocked the disease into remission.   As he has said more than once (but never enough)" It's just a little.. pill that I take every night."  Earlier this year Don was worried that he wouldn't be well enough to run the Marine Corps event.  It wasn't cancer.  He had a pulled hamstring from overtraining!

I have had the deep privilege of spending time with Don.  He is a powerful voice for medical innovation, a loving and dedicated husband and father and a source of comfort and support for everyone reeling from the diagnosis of a deadly disease.  

The greater marathon runner Bill Rogers once said, "the marathon can humble you."   Don Wright has shown that it can inspire us as well. 


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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