The Stories Behind the LA Marathon

The Stories Behind the Marathon


Statement from Dr. James Berenson A marathon brings people together. I enjoy training for the 2014 ASICS LA Marathon with my daughter to find a cure for multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer that remains incurable. I am a cancer doctor. Our organization, the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (IMBCR) is dedicated to finding more effective treatments that will wipe out only the cancer and leave the rest of the patient’s healthy cells alone. I have been working toward this goal for nearly three decades. When I started, myeloma was a “sprint race” and the “run” was a brief one for patients, but now thanks to all the new advances, it’s a “marathon.” I will race on behalf of my patients and for the research we do in our lab. We are a small but growing group trying to bring much needed attention to IMBCR’s bench research. Every year brings better and safer treatments. We participate in this marathon in an effort to find truly effective curative therapy.



Statement from Geoffrey Wainwright (a patient of Dr. James Berenson): I am teaming with my daughter for the 2014 ASICS LA Marathon to salute the ultimate marathoner, Dr. James Berenson. Imagine a marathon that has lasted nearly 30 years! That is when Dr. Berenson set out to cure multiple myeloma (MM), a form of bone marrow cancer. Through his Los Angeles-based practice and foundation, the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research, he has brought hope to thousands and is at the forefront of cutting-edge therapy. My own marathon with MM began seven years ago. After hearing that I may have three years left to live, I was devastated. I had so much to live for… an amazing wife, wonderful friends and twin nine-year-olds. Dr. Berenson’s innovative approach enables his patients to actually “live” their lives. Setting physical goals helped my battle—from my first triathlon, first Century, to climbing mountains–Half Dome, the Inca Trail, then Mt. Whitney and Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa’s tallest mountain at 19,341 feet!) it has been exhilarating. Last November, we trekked above Everest Base Camp. I didn’t think I would still be alive, let alone standing on these breathtaking summits. We all live with uncertainty, but Dr. Berenson is giving us precious time while he races to find a cure.


Statement from Ariana Berenson (daughter of Dr. James Berenson and member of Team IMBCR): I have decided to run the 2014 ASICS LA marathon because I believe so strongly in what my father does at the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (IMBCR). I am far from a runner (the most I had ever run prior to training was a mile). But I believe in the specialized care he gives his patients and his innovative research, which is improving the quality of life and survival of his patients. Then again, my running the marathon isn’t much of a surprise to me. I am also far from a scientist, but I work part time doing research projects because his work inspires me so much. My dad’s passion for the well-being of his patients is something that is infectious to be around. He doesn’t take no for an answer, instead coming up with new research and treatment plans to help his patients. I think the 2014 ASICS LA marathon has benefited his work immensely, raising awareness of IMBCR and allowing for more research opportunities. My father always says that treating myeloma isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. I think now more than ever, I find the truth in his words. I hope his patients and those who learn of IMBCR will recognize that as well.

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