Man Runs Marathon Each Month for His Wife With Bile Duct Cancer

Delorean Ostrom’s ‘Racing for Hope’ campaign raises funds to advance cholangiocarcinoma research with proceeds benefiting the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation

Delorean Ostrom of Suwanee, GA, and his family’s life changed when his wife, Mandy, was diagnosed with a rare bile duct cancer called cholangiocarcinoma. To pay tribute to her, Ostrom is running a marathon every month this year in a campaign called “Racing for Hope,” with all proceeds to benefit the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. He aims to raise $12,000 to support cholangiocarcinoma research for early detection.

“After getting out of the hospital and knowing my wife had some fighting to do, not only for her but for our little girls, I decided to do everything I could to raise awareness of this lethal cancer and to be as strong as I could for my family. I decided to run the Chicago marathon and raise money and awareness for the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation,” said Ostrom.

Approximately 10,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year with the hard-to-diagnose, difficult-to-treat type of cancer. It is often overlooked as symptoms can mimic other medical conditions. If you notice any symptoms or you have some concerns about your health, you should see a doctor immediately. For non-emergency inquiries, you may consult with a healthcare advocate.

Conventional cancer treatments remain ineffective against cholangiocarcinoma, which is why in 2016 the Foundation started TeamCCF as a way to raise money through athletic events. Through the years, TeamCCF has participated in numerous races, such as the TCS New York City Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Denver/Colfax Marathon, and the AACR Philadelphia Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8k.

Delorean was a member of TeamCCF and had run marathons for the Foundation after his wife, Mandy Ostrom, was diagnosed with the rare cancer in December 2019. She was pregnant with her second child at the time and had surgery to remove her gallbladder, and that’s when her doctors found cancerous tumors in her bile ducts. Her treatment included removing part of her liver, gallbladder and lymph nodes, followed by chemotherapy. After numerous chemo treatments, Mandy gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

To date, Ostrom has run a total of eight marathons:

January 9, 2022: Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, Florida

February 27, 2022: Publix Atlanta Marathon in Atlanta, Georgia

March 5, 2022: Snickers Marathon in Albany, Georgia

April 24, 2022: Magnolia Silo District Marathon in Waco, Texas

May 22, 2022: Suwannee, Georgia

June 18, 2022: Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota

July 11, 2022: Marathon in St. George Island, Florida

August 7, 2022: Marathon in Suwanee, GA

September 5, 2022: Boston Bound Marathon in Johns Creek, GA

October 9, 2022: Bank of America Chicago Marathon

November 6, 2022: TCS New York City Marathon

“It was an honor to be able to show support for Delorean Ostrom as he ran the Boston-Bound Marathon about an hour away from my home. Being this close, I wanted Delorean to know that this cholangio patient appreciated his extraordinary efforts,” Phil Baughman, cholangiocarcinoma patient. “I was thankful I got to meet Mandy and their girls. I was impressed with Mandy’s positive attitude and determination as she fights to keep this cancer at bay. It was such a blessing for me to have this opportunity to show support for another patient.”

These marathons have been challenging for Delorean not only physically but also mentally. Like a marathon, Mandy’s cancer journey has had many ups and downs. During the campaign, Mandy has undergone different treatments and had regular check-ups and scans. At the end of marathon number two in February, Mandy surprised Delorean with a sign that stated her scans showed no evidence of disease (NED).

However, in July, Mandy received the devastating news that her cancer was back. As heartbreaking as Mandy’s second diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma was, Delorean resolved to continue his campaign. Today, he is more determined than ever to keep raising awareness about cholangiocarcinoma and sharing Mandy’s story so that his two young girls grow up with their mom.

“We don’t know how long it will take for these results, and we have no clue what the next step is, but I know that I will be there next to her. I’ll be the shoulder to cry on, I’ll be her cheerleader, I’ll help her fight because no matter what this cancer tries to take from us, it will never take the love I have for her,” said Delorean.

According to National Cancer Institute data, cholangiocarcinoma is on the rise. Cholangiocarcinoma is an aggressive and lethal tumor that arises from the epithelial cells of bile ducts. It comprises about 3% of all gastrointestinal malignancies, and its incidence has increased. According to a recent study (JAMA Network Open), by 2040, it is estimated that liver and bile duct cancer will be the third deadliest cancer in the US.

Visit racingforhope.org to read Ostrom’s blog updates and to support Racing for Hope.

About cholangiocarcinoma:
Cholangiocarcinoma (koh-LAN-jee-oh-KAR-sih-NOH-muh) is a highly lethal and rare bile duct cancer of the liver with a poor prognosis. With approximately 10,000 diagnosed cases yearly of cholangiocarcinoma in the United States, bile duct cancer is the world’s second most common primary liver cancer. It is often diagnosed at advanced stages when treatment is only minimally effective, emphasizing the imminent need for novel therapies.

About the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (CCF):
Founded in 2006, the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation is a global 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to find a cure and improve the quality of life for those affected by bile duct cancer. CCF supports basic & translational research and raises awareness in the cholangiocarcinoma community through advocacy, education and collaboration. For more information, visit cholangiocarcinoma.org.