(KMSP) - Don Wright has thousands of miles under his feet and probably many more to go. At 75 years old, he has run a remarkable 100 marathons. He crossed his hundredth finish line just before Thanksgiving in Philadelphia.
“For me this was my 100th,” said Don. “That was it. Philadelphia - it's a great town.”
He only started running marathons at 62, but what's more incredible is that he started when he thought he only had five years to live.
"I had started running and got the marathon bug and thought I'd run one marathon,” he said. “Then two weeks later, I got the diagnosis of myeloma blood cancer that is not curable.”
The marathons were part of a bucket list to see all 50 states with his wife and adult daughter -- a way to keep cancer from stealing his happiness.
“I just love the feeling of floating by, drifting past the scenery and I just feel like I'm sticking that cancer in the eye,” said Don.
Don has benefited from clinical trials and experimental drugs, which unlike chemo, didn't make him sick. Most likely he's also benefited from his eternal optimism.
"The docs say having an upbeat spirit is a good thing to help with treatment of any disease and running does some good -- that would be the reason,” he said. “It's a very upbeat thing for me.”
While Don doesn't know what the future may bring, he is so very thankful that he's had time to create more memories.
"I wasn't supposed to live to meet my grandchildren, but I have met my grandchildren and they know their grandpa,” he said. “My mom lived to 100 and then my dad lived to 100, so that's my plan.”
Don has also been an advocate for getting insurance companies to cover experimental treatments.