Not age, not weather, not even cancer can keep Dr. Moses Christian from running.
The 81-year-old physician battling prostate cancer will run his 19th L.A. marathon on Sunday, one of more than 200 marathons he's run over 18 years. Christian was diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease in 1994, and it has since metastasised and spread to his spine. Nevertheless, the man on a mission continues to work full time as a general surgeon and practitioner in Beaumont, California, and runs a marathon every month.
Furthermore, he's skipped chemotherapy in favor of a vegetarian diet, alternative medicine, and, most importantly, running.
"One thing that's going through my mind when I run is the health benefit, and then the challenge of it, the determination," Christian tells the Good News Blog. "Especially when you do one a month. There are times when you think you can't do it because of the pain and all, but I tell myself, no I have to finish it. How can I go back after travelling and going this distance and tell the people at home that I quit?"
While Christian only began running only at age 61, he has conquered more than many who've been hitting the trails their entire lives. For 14 years, the doctor has run a marathon every single month. He got into it when his cousin dared him and quickly became hooked.
Christian initially believed running great distances was bad for the knees, but he changed his mind once he took up the sport.
"It is a good addiction," Christian remarks. "One of the secrets I have lived this long with the cancer is my exercise. A good diet and a stress-free life, it's a holistic approach."
Christian opted out of radiation years ago, as he felt the treatment did more harm than good. He was told surgery wasn't an option, which actually made him happy because he didn't want to quit running.
As a substitute, the doctor visited an alternative medicine clinic and started taking all-natural vaccines. Keeping his health in check, he adopted a mostly vegetarian and vegan diet, with the occasional serving of fish and ice cream.
Otherwise, it's all about marathons. Christian even ran the Boston Marathon in 2013, which was disrupted by two fatal bombings. He was on mile 20 when officials halted the competition.
"They told me to stop. They said I couldn't go any further," he recalls. "They said to come rest in the tent. I said no. I had planned whatever happens, I'm going to finish. I took my own road, my own route. I'm a very stubborn man."
Christian finished the 26.2 miles his own way and would later learn what had transpired.
In addition to running, the spry senior participates in biathlons and is a thrill seeker. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 1997 and went bungee jumping in New Zealand in 2007.
"Running a marathon is much harder than jumping. You just close your eyes and jump and trust the rope," Christian says.
It's his ability to look beyond cancer that makes him such a winner. He hangs his medals in his office as a means of motivating patients, and he pushes everyone to test their limits.
His motto is to lead by example.
"Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God," Christian remarks. "Be an inspiration to others."
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