A long-term cancer patient and Minnesota runner will participate in the Minnesota Senior Games, which are underway through Sunday in Mankato. Don 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.