Here is the GIST Member story of Michael Byrne. After more than 10 years of fighting GIST, several rounds of ineffective chemo and five surgeries, most folks would say Michael Byrne could use a rest. Michael isn’t most folks. The Plymouth, Michigan, man ran in his first-ever marathon Saturday, March 27. At the finish line he was greeted by his wife, Mia, son Matthew, and a cousin who presented him with a Guinness Stout. But Michael only took a few swigs (“Probably the first time he couldn’t finish one,” says Mia) before limping toward his car, opening a medicine bottle and gulping down four Gleevec pills. Michael started running competitively a few years ago. In 2002 he did three triathlons, and liked it so much he did five in 2003, including one international distance event where he swam 1.5 kilometers, bicycled 40 km., and ran 10 km. But Sunday was his first crack at a full marathon — 26.2 miles. Michael ran in the fourth annual Mizuno Martian Marathon in Northville, Mich. Nearly 200 runners did the full marathon, while several hundred more did a half marathon or ran part of the course as training, as the event is certified to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Many of the runners collected donations to fight cancer, with race proceeds benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The 40-year-old Michael finished in a very respectable 4 hours, 14 minutes, maintaining a 9:43-mile pace. He is now considering signing up for the ING New York City Marathon in November. He’d be joining his sister’s friend with the goal of raising raising money for the Life Raft Group.

Michael Byrne finishes his first-ever marathon as his family, filled with pride and excitement, look on. Just right of Michael is his son, Matthew, in the blue top.
Wife Mia can be seen in the background, in a neon green jacket and holding a camera.

LRG Team
Author: LRG Team