New York, NY and San Diego, CA – Nov 29, 2016 - MY LIFE IS WORTH IT (MLIWI), a non-profit patient advocacy organization, congratulates Don Wright on achieving his personal goal of running 100 marathons with cancer, and personifying the progress that is possible treating this disease.
Thirteen years ago, when Don was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer of cells in the bone marrow, he began running marathons. November 20th, in Philadelphia, he ran his 100th marathon since diagnosis, at age 75 while on treatment. Now he heads to San Diego, site of the global hematology cancer conference December 2nd through 6th. Don will speak to advocacy organizations and at patient events, to put a face to the data, and add his personal story to illustrate the progress being made today and the promise needed tomorrow.
“We can’t hit the wall when it comes to developing new treatments, to use a marathon expression,” says Don. “Cancer is a clever opponent; it figures out ways to defeat your medications, which is why research to get us new medicines is so important. I was on an amazing pill for seven years, and when my cancer flared there was a brand-new immunotherapy to add to my regimen, or I might not be here.”
“But throwing us curve balls doesn’t help, to use a baseball expression,” says former major league pitcher and fellow myeloma patient Bob Tufts. “For example, many insurance policies make patients pay more out-of-pocket for pills than a needle in the arm, or they saddle us with high co-pays. That’s why I co-founded My Life Is Worth It, and why Don and I are so passionate about giving people like us a voice to fight for development of the innovations and access to the treatments we need.”
In his case, Don maintains the system does work! Don’s combination-therapy is covered by insurance. That’s how it should be for everyone.
“Medical advances keep Don running,” says Ardis Wright, Don’s wife of 53 years. “Our hope is the concentric circles of interest in Don’s story will help other patients get the modern medicines they need too.”
Look for Don, Ardis and their daughter Sarah in San Diego. And at the Patients Rising VOICES OF VALUE forum in person or online, December 4th. (https://patientsrising.org/events/voices-value-speak-patients-progress-access-innovation-and-future-reform)