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On A Positive Note: Washington Co. Marathon Runner Won't Let Leukemia Stop Him

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Jason Mounts, 40, loves to run. That's how he found out something wasn't quite right late last year.

"I went out for jog at mom and dad's house mid-October or so for a quick three mile warm-up and it crushed me. It took everything I had," said Mounts.

Just before Thanksgiving, he went to the ER with a rash on his leg, and found out he had leukemia.

The attorney and captain in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard spent the next month undergoing chemotherapy treatments at UPMC Shadyside. Treatments went well, and in May of this year, he had a stem cell transplant. His younger sister Erin was his donor.

"Just grateful that she'd be willing to do it and not only physically able to do it, but willing to put her heart into it for me," said Mounts.

Jason spent several weeks back in Shadyside hospital recovering from the transplant, but not without bringing some of his toys from home: a couple hundred pounds of weights.

"I took a wheelchair, loaded everything in the back of my mom's Jeep and took the wheelchair down and put everything on that wheelchair and brought it back up," said Mounts.

On top of that, he installed a pull up bar in the bathroom of his hospital room and had a treadmill brought in the room so he could work out every day.

"I just woke up and forced myself to do it every day. Even when I didn't feel like it, I would force myself to do something on the treadmill," said Mounts.

Jason's doctor Alison Sehgal said he definitely wins for the level of equipment brought into his hospital room.

"Transplant is a really big process and can be life changing, so maintaining some sort of normalcy doing things important to you and feel like yourself will give your motivation to keep moving," said Sehgal.

Jason said his running days aren't over.

Amy Wadas: "Do you feel like doing that has helped you with recovery?"
Jason Mounts: "One hundred percent."

"You will absolutely see me in the Pittsburgh Marathon this coming May," said Mounts.

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