Fighting Obesity by Running for Cystic Fibrosis Research

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Fighting Obesity by Running for Cystic Fibrosis Research

Running for His Existence, Roger Wright Raises Funds for Cystic Fibrosis Research
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Roger Wright fights #obesity by helping those with #CysticFibrosis

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 5:05pm


Living in Needham, Massachusetts, near Boston, Roger Wright struggled with obesity for most of his life, watching his weight rise over the years to 200 pounds, then 250 pounds, and still higher. Year after year he would make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, sign up at a health club, go a few times, but then stop.

“I joined health clubs like an annual rite, but I always had to join a new one because I couldn’t show my face at the old one,” said Wright. Roger tried diets too, lots of them, and they would work at first, but after he lost 5 or 10 pounds, he would celebrate and put the weight back on.

Roger watched the Boston Marathon in April that year, remembering his dream of running it someday, but when he went to the doctor he was at 276 pounds and borderline diabetic, with his cholesterol through the roof. On top of this his niece Julia with cystic fibrosis had been put on a transplant list for her lungs, her health suffering. When he thought of his niece and his own life, he made the connection to help her and others and change his own life as well.

“I told my wife ‘I’m going to train, lose 50 pounds, run the Boston Marathon, and raise money for Julie for cystic fibrosis.’ She might have said anything,” said Wright. “But she said ‘I think that’s a great idea.’ And that if I ran the race she’d make sure I had a friend at every mile. I said to myself, for the first time in my life I’m going to commit myself to a change. And I did.”

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting over 30,000 people in the US. Facing constant difficulty breathing normally and respiratory infections, children and adults with cystic fibrosis still have few treatments today.

The Boston Marathon requires runners to qualify but allows some runners to enter in exchange for raising money for charities. Wright contacted the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation they agreed to obtain a number in the race for him if he guaranteed at least $3000 in donations. Two minutes after receiving the form, he completed it and sent it back.

Roger stuck with the commitment and the results were profound. He started running, slowly at first but sticking with it and quickly ramping up. You can see the weight melting away on his website, as Roger dropped from 276 pounds down to an amazingly fit 163 pounds in just 10 months.

Roger ran the Boston marathon for the first time in 2009, running the whole race non-stop in 4 hours and 45 minutes, and he continues to run on a daily basis, always thinking about the next race. He never stops because for him the running now is not a burden but a gift. “Making this commitment and the commitment to my niece, it just clicked,” said Wright. “If I had not changed there’s a good chance I would not be alive.” He is running not just for his life but for others as well, always thinking of how we can inspire and help others in addition to staying healthy.

“I’m always running marathons, one after another,” said Wright. “I need to have that goal that I keep in front of me because I have a race coming up, a goal to break, to think about how I can inspire other people. I really just want to help people. That’s the biggest change about me as a person.”

To help Roger help others, you can make a donation for cystic fibrosis at his site (, sponsoring him in one of his upcoming races. Roger also has lots of information on his site about how he achieved his personal transformation, an inspiration for many others facing their own challenges, and how they can harness the power of helping others. Wright has achieved great things, but there’s no magic involved other than the magic of the human heart and the human mind. What he has achieved we all can, by working together.

To find out more about Roger and others finding the great reward of helping others, visit

Keywords: Volunteerism & Community Engagement | Cystic Fibrosis | Positive Change | Roger Wright | obesity