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Cancer patient runs entire Boston Marathon with doctor who saved his life by his side

WPTZ Plattsburgh-Burlington logo WPTZ Plattsburgh-Burlington 4/16/2019
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In 2016, Kirk Wilkerson went in for a routine check in the midst of marathon training and left with a life-changing diagnosis. Even though it seemed like a journey he would have to weather alone, there was one person who would stick by his side even during his continued effort to run marathons.

Dr. Saad Usmani, MD, revealed to Wilkerson that he had smoldering multiple myeloma, a rare form of cancer, and would require chemotherapy treatment.

After two years of treatment, Wilkerson wanted to celebrate. So, he did. He took a trip with Usmani to Hike Mount Everest Base Camp in 2018.

The two bonded quickly thanks to all their shared experiences and became inseparable.

“We have become incredibly close friends,” Wilkerson told Levine Cancer Institute. “I love him like a brother.”

Next up – they decide to take on the Boston Marathon.

“Dr. Usmani is like me in that if he has one fault – it’s his inability to say ‘no’,” Wilkerson said.

The pair gathered a group of 10 and took on training for the race, or as Usmani called it, “the Super Bowl of marathons.”

The two worked for a long time to prepare to run the entire 26.2 miles and when the day finally came, they celebrated with a selfie.

“We want to build on what we did in Nepal and absorb it all and have fun along the way,” Usmani said. “Running this race is a testament to the resilience and endurance on the part of myeloma patients. When we finish, it will represent our hope and aspirations for finding a cure for this disease.”


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