Jim Newton has run for over 37 years, covered over 45,000 miles, completed 17 marathons, several half marathons and many more 10K’s and 5K’s. Environmental Program Manager for Kent County, and a resident of Milford, he has been seen frequently running around Milford and Harrington. By any measure, an outsider would assume that he is as healthy as any individual can be, but it was a lump he noticed on the side of his neck one day, that placed a giant obstacle in his way of a lifetime of healthy living.
In April Newton found a large lump on the side of his neck and immediately went to see his physician. After numerous tests, it was determined that he had mantle cell lymphoma, a rare and aggressive blood cancer. For now he has chosen the treatment approach of pill swallowing and monthly IV injections in contrast to chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant.
“This is just another obstacle to overcome in life,” said Newton. “I’m still running and I plan to keep running through the recovery process.”
Newton has supported numerous cancer causes through his running over the years, raising over $10,000 for cancer research by running the New York City Marathon and the Disney Goofy Challenge. In fact, he is using his running efforts to help raise funds to fight leukemia and lymphoma as he will be running the Chicago Marathon on October 12, his 65th birthday.
Through the Team in Training program, Newton will be raising money towards his goal of $2,900 for cancer research. Team in Training is a national effort by athletes of all types and sizes that run marathons, bike or hike long distances and compete in triathlons to help raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Since its inception in 1988, more than 600,000 Team in Training members have raised over $1.4 billion. Although his own medical bills may become a burden in the near future as he treats his own cancer, Newton feels that giving back to as many people as possible is the right thing to do.
“This is a broader approach and I believe maybe more of a noble cause than just raising money for myself,” said Newton.
Personally, Newton is prepared to reach his own goals whether he is cancer free or not. He plans to run 50 marathons in 50 states and also to be the oldest person to run a marathon.
“I believe the oldest person to run a marathon is 105 so I have to get past this in order to reach that goal,” stated Newton. “I have not let this diagnosis allow me to think ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die.’ We are all going to die but I want to reach these goals before I do.”
Individuals that would like to help Newton reach his goal of $2,900 to enter and run in the Chicago Marathon on October 12 can log on to www.teamintraining.org, click the donate link, search for the name “Jim Newton” and click on his Chicago Marathon page. After his entry fee and hotel are paid for, approximately $500, the rest of the money will support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in their pursuit to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.