John Maack has always taken his running very seriously. “I run 50 and 100 mile races,” he said. “It is a big part of my life.”
It’s a part that even a cancer diagnosis couldn’t take away from him. Last March, John was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“It was like I was running down the trail and somebody jumped out behind a bush and hit me in the forehead with a 2 x 4,” he said.
John immediately underwent four months of intense chemo and had a stem cell transplant, but through it all he never stopped running.
“I ran through all my treatments, the doctors were a little concerned, but they worked with me and instead of running 90 miles a week they let me run 50 miles a week,” he said.
John believes being active helped him be successful in treatments. His trainer at the Hunstman Cancer Institute agrees.
“John's an elite athlete, he brought into his treatment a level of fitness, healing, recovery and growth that really helped him get through cancer treatment,” said Patrick Troumbley, a exercise physiologist at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. “He is doing phenomenally. He's definitely what I would consider an outlier.”
Just eight months after getting the transplant, John will be among the thousands of runners in the Salt Lake City half marathon.
John said he's more than ready to cross the finish line in both the race and his recovery...
“Once you realize what you're dealing with as I do with my running you get up shake yourself off and move on,” he said.
John will be running with the Hunstman Hometown Heroes team. For more information on the team, click here.