Spirit of Hope
Meet Mary Weidner
MMRF Endurance Events
Posted: January, 2013
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is proud to honor Mary Weidner with the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award at the Empire State Building Run-Up Powered by the MMRF on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. This award is given to individuals who inspire hope with their perseverance in overcoming personal obstacles such as a cancer diagnosis. Since 2007, Mary has been living with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, and has met each step of her diagnosis and treatment with tenacity and determination.
The Empire State Building Run-Up Powered by the MMRF, organized by the New York Road Runners, is one of the most elite tower climbing events in the world. Less than 7,000 people in the race’s 36-year history have earned the bragging rights of reaching the finish line on the 86th-floor Observation Deck. As the title sponsor of the race for the third year, the MMRF receives an exclusive opportunity to fill a wave of 100 spots with MMRF PowerTeam members, each of whom is committed to raising a minimum of $2,500 to fund critical cancer research.
Since her diagnosis, Mary has undergone several treatments, received a stem cell transplant, and today she is in partial remission. Throughout her treatments, Mary has received support from colleagues, friends, family, and her loving husband James Weidner, CEO of the Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP). Mary credits her husband with pulling her through the difficulty of her illness, “Jim found the best doctors. He found the best treatments. Together we found the MMRF. Without Jim and without the MMRF, I would not have survived. I’m convinced of it.”
In 2011, Mary was approached by Bill West, CAP Vice President of Sales, about his idea to participate in the Empire State Building Run-Up Powered by the MMRF in honor of Mary’s fight with myeloma. For Bill, a self proclaimed “stair climbing nut” whose favorite t-shirt reads “Elevators are for Wimps”, this was a great way to use his passion to support his friend. Mary was thrilled that Bill would take on this challenge to not only honor her fight, but to raise funds for cancer research.
2013 will mark Bill’s third year participating in the event in honor of Mary, and for the first time she will be there holding the finish line tape to not only greet her friend, but all those who support the courageous battle of those living with cancer by participating on the MMRF team. “When I was going through the most difficult time of my treatments, I thought of those heroes climbing the stairs of that very tall building. I knew that they probably had moments when they wanted to stop too. But they persevere, taking one more step, getting to one more floor, not unlike what I was going through,” shares Mary.
Please help honor Mary Weidner and support the critical mission of the MMRF to accelerate new treatments to lead to a cure. With an outstanding 90% of the MMRF total budget directed to research and related programming, funds raised through MMRF events like the Empire State Building Run-Up Powered by the MMRF have made a meaningful difference – helping to bring multiple myeloma patients five new treatments that have more than doubled survival rate.
Mary with husband James
Mary Weidner, Artist