They may have cancer. But they’ll be at the starting line. Patient stories.
They’re up to 41 states. The states they’ve yet to conquer are: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon and South Dakota. “I’ve had kids who come back and visit me and ask, ‘What number are you on?’’’ says Gonzalez, who has had students run the race because of her. “I guess they feel, ‘If my teacher could do it ....” They had a setback in the fall of 2016 when Blair was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had three options: Remove the prostate through surgery, radiate it or undergo High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, a new procedure the Food and Drug Administration approved in 2015 that uses high-heat ultrasound waves to burn off the tumor. It’s an outpatient procedure that doesn’t have the side effects of the surgery or radiation — higher risk for incontinence and sexual dysfunction. The downside? It’s not fully covered by insurance or Medicare, leaving an out-of-pocket expense at between $15,000 and $20,000. Blair had the procedure done last March. Shortly thereafter, the father-daughter duo began training and race-walked three marathons in 2017 — in Connecticut, Arizona and Nebraska. Blair would not have been able to resume training so quickly if he had the surgery, said his physician, Dr. Dipen Parekh, professor and chair of the Department of Urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.