Inspirational Tampa Runner Tackles Walt Disney World Marathon’s 48.6-mile Dopey Challenge Just Before 30-day Hospital Stint

Ron Wertley took on the Walt Disney World Marathon’s Dopey Challenge – running the 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon – in successive days and that would be impressive on its own if that were all there was to his story. But it’s not.

There’s so much more.

Wertley completed the Dopey Challenge – all 48.6 miles – despite having to train while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer. He was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and given a 40-percent survival chance just after he completed the Dopey Challenge last January. But nearly a year of aggressive chemo treatments sent the cancer into remission.

Until a few weeks ago.

December brought news that the cancer had returned and doctors say he needs a 30-day stint in the hospital and an aggressive chemo regimen to combat the disease again. But with the support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, Wertley was determined to participate in the Dopey Challenge this week (he has done all five previous ones), which is a testament to his fortitude, determination and grit.