2013 Update: My Next Goal? 100 Marathons!!
Now that I've achieved my goal of running marathons in all 50 states--despite having been diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago--I look back with pride at accomplishing that goal and pride at raising awareness of multiple myeloma. Myeloma is a blood cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affects blood cell production and can damage bone. I'm lucky, though. The medication for my cancer is just an oral pill I can take at home, freeing me to run marathons around the country without being tied to frequent doctors’ visits for an intravenous infusion.
So what's in store for me now, at age 72, after completing a total of 72 marathons? (I ran twice in a few states.) My new goal is to reach 100 marathons!
People ask what motivates me to keep running. Each time I stand at the starting line of another marathon, I get a little choked up thinking how lucky I am to be receiving the drug that seems perfect for me, holding my cancer in check while allowing me to remain active. The least I can do is to give back to a cause like Team Continuum, to race in their honor proudly wearing my bright red Team Continuum running gear.
I believe running is a celebration of life! Myeloma can’t be cured, but with new drugs and new treatments available it can be managed long term. The way I see it, I’m running with cancer, not from cancer! And running for a great organization like Team Continuum is a way for me to help others lead better lives with cancer.