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Miles have meaning for marathoner

By Stephanie Chan

Nelson Wiebe will run a marathon in Vancouver. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Nelson Wiebe will run a marathon in Vancouver. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

When Nelson Wiebe runs, he always thinks of one person — his aunt Ruth.


The 24-year old student from Edmonton starts the first of his marathon series to raise awareness about multiple myeloma, an incurable, but treatable cancer, which his aunt was diagnosed with in 2010.

Lacking understanding of this lesser-known disease, Wiebe embarked the Making Miles Matter for Myeloma: Run for Ruth, a series of marathons across Canada to awaken the consciousness of people.

“It really symbolized the battle that every cancer patient goes through,” Wiebe says about running a marathon.

During the campaign, he will introduce to Canadians to the importance of understanding the disease, and how simple things can contribute to better outcomes for those suffering from multiple myeloma.

“Like, for example, as you’re running in the marathons, you become exhausted and you have to keep fighting for every step,” he said. “When you have cancer, you are fighting every day of your life. In that chance, it is sort of symbolized in a very small way.”

Following the Edmonton marathon, Wiebe will run races in four other cities across Canada, including St. John’s, Newfoundland, Montreal, Ottawa, and finishing up in Vancouver.

“The five marathons sort of represent the prolonged struggle of people every day that live with cancer,” he said.

Wiebe hopes Canadians will follow his run or donate funding for further research.

Incurable multiple myeloma is the second-biggest Canadian killer among all blood cancers. Every year, nearly 1,400 Canadians die from multiple myeloma.


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