LeAnne Taylor, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Over the past 15 years, Tulsa's Komen Race for the Cure has grown from just a few thousand racers to more than 12,000 participants.
It's seen a lot of changes, but one thing that's stayed the same, the man who's responsible for the route Race Director Jack Wing.
Jack Wing has been a familiar face around the Tulsa running community for years including, the Tulsa Run, Route 66 Marathon and the Komen Race for the Cure.
It was 15 years ago; Jack met with a group of ladies who wanted to hold a local race to raise money to fight breast cancer.
"And we met a month later and all these ladies had all these assignments already going and they said the only thing we need is a race director and I already told them I'm doing so many races and I don't have time but then all of a sudden all these eyes were on me and it was breast cancer survivors and women that were going through breast cancer at the time. How could I say no? So I said I'd do it for one year. Well, 15 years later, I'm still doing it," said Jack Wing.
But last year, Jack was absent from the Komen race.
He was battling his own cancer. Multiple myeloma, cancer of the blood.
"Why me? I've worked out all my life, played sports in High School, in the army, was a cop right outside of Boston. I've always worked out, ride a bike, why me?" said Jack Wing.
Jack attacked his cancer head on and after a stem cell transplant and lots of chemotherapy, he's been able to beat it and that makes the Komen Race that much more special.
"If we find a cure for breast cancer or multiple myeloma, we're going to find a cure for most all of the cancers. When I went through chemo class, cause you have to go through that, they explain to you 20 years ago, everybody got the same chemo regardless what cancer you have. Now, each type of cancer has their own chemo treatment. I had something different than you had," said Jack Wing.
While Jack can no longer run, cycling has become his new passion and he even inspired me to give it a try.
Jack Wing will once again be back at the Komen Race, encouraging others to cross the finish line.
"I got 5 good reasons. I have a wife, three daughter-in-laws and a granddaughter. That's 5 good reasons to be out there to find and eradicate it, cause I don't want them to go through what a lot of women go through," said Jack Wing. "I'll be looking forward to every second and I'll probably be crying again this year when we fire the gun. The Race for the Cure is going to be my first big one of the year."
Jack Wing is very excited about the race moving to downtown Tulsa to ONEOK Field.
He says the route will take participants through the historic Brady District, past the BOK Center and then back to the ballpark.
Registration is underway, so if you're interested in putting together a team or joining my team, it's very simple to sign up to race.
Go to our website, NewsOn6.com/LeAnne's team, and then follow the prompts.
The race is Saturday, September 17, 2011 and I hope you'll join us.
And I'm very excited to announce, we'll have a half hour pre-race special that morning, 6:30-7:00 a.m. on Channel 6. So before you come down to race, tune in for a preview of all the fun!