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Long-term cancer patient to participate in the MN Senior Games in Mankato
MANKATO, Minn.— Long-term cancer patient and Minnesota runner Don Wright will participate in the Minnesota Senior Games Thursday through Sunday in Mankato.
Wright, a 77-year-old Stillwater resident diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, is entered in the 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter races during the Minnesota Senior Games.
While he has already qualified for the 2019 National Senior Games in four other states, Wright registered for the Minnesota Senior Games to improve his form and speed.
“I’m 100 percent Minnesotan,” said Wright. “I grew up in Duluth, and I’ve lived in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region my entire adult life. In fact, I ran my very first marathon in Minnesota that got me into being a runner.”
Fifteen years ago, Wright was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer that affects bone marrow cells. He was given less than five years to live but with new treatments, he is not only alive but well. He ran 100 marathons while on treatment and now has set his sights on the National Senior Games next June.
“I’ve benefitted from modern medicines, and as I’ve needed treatment, they’ve been there. Now I enter events around the county to help spread the word to other patients that there is hope after diagnosis and the possibility of a good life even during treatment,” said Wright.
“Wright is the type of athlete we enjoy seeing participate in the Minnesota Senior Games: someone who is well and able to compete, no matter age or medical condition. He’s the epitome of resilience,” said Joy Leafblad, Mankato Sports Commission director.
Since his diagnosis, Wright has formed a group called eRace Cancer, a social media campaign that raises awareness of living (and running) with cancer and the importance of new treatments.
For media requests, contact Deanne at 917-837-5866. To learn more about eRace Cancer, visit eRaceCancer.run and follow eRace Cancer on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information about the Minnesota Senior Games in Mankato, visit mnseniorgames.com.
About the Mankato Sports Commission:
The Mankato Sports Commission, an initiative of Visit Mankato, has a mission to drive the sporting economy in Greater Mankato by providing leadership, guidance and expertise that enables the attraction, support and/or administration of sporting events and tournaments to the area. Visit Mankato, the local convention and visitor’s bureau, is a business unit of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG), which also includes the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization, Greater Mankato Growth, downtown development organization, City Center Partnership, and GreenSeam, which utilizes agriculture to build on the region’s extensive agribusiness assets to develop the ag economy. Visit Mankato leads the development of the visitor economy in Greater Mankato by actively promoting Greater Mankato as a premier destination for conventions, tournaments and tourism. These activities bring a steady flow of visitors and business activity to Greater Mankato that benefit local residents and future visitors. The work of the Sports Commission and Visit Mankato helps strengthen the hospitality industry which provides jobs, a diverse tax base and amenities for everyone to enjoy.