Friday, November 12, 2010

Iditarod champion shares cancer story

Dogged determination: Left, Mackey, with MGH Cancer Center patient Margaretha Rerch

Although oct. 22 was a typical autumn day with temperatures in the 60s, patients and staff were magically transported to the frozen Alaskan tundra when four-time Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race winner Lance Mackey paid a visit to the MGH Cancer Center.

Mackey holds the record for the most consecutive wins in the famous 1,200-mile race and is the 2007 through 2010 Iditarod champion. He also is a throat cancer survivor and motivational speaker who spends much of his time visiting cancer centers around the country. By sharing his experiences, Mackey said he feels he is able to give hope to those who are suffering.

"When it comes to a tough fight, winning the longest dog sled race in the world is no match for what it takes to beat cancer," said Mackey.

Armed with signed copies of his new book for the Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Room, Mackey spent much of his time talking about his dogs and their love of running, even in the harshest conditions possible.

Mackey continues to train with his team of sled dogs and hopes for a fifth consecutive win when the Iditarod begins again in March 2011.


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