He started running when he was 34, but it wasn't until 2004 that he began running competitively. Since then, he has completed 25 marathons, including five Boston marathons, 13 half marathons, and the three Ironmans.
In July 2012, while training for the St. George marathon, Dean came home from a run with a headache that persisted for three days. After an emergency room visit they discovered bleeding in the brain. An MRI taken later that day showed that it was a sizeable tumor which doctors determined needed to be removed immediately. Following surgery, Dean and his family received the diagnosis that it was a Grade IV Glioblastoma Multiforme, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.
Dean has had a miraculous recovery in spite of the severe prognosis. After undergoing six weeks of combined radiation and chemotherapy treatment, he now takes chemo once a month and will do so for one year. His prior good health and fitness have been significant factors in his positive response to treatment. Up to this point, he has had clean MRI scans with no new growth being shown. He has resumed working full-time and is currently training with five of his children for the St. George 1/2 Ironman.
In support of Dean and to raise funds and awareness for brain cancer, his family and friends organized a Team IronDean 5K in November 2012. They were able to raise $12,643.26 which they donated to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation for brain cancer research.
One of Dean's lifelong dreams has been to compete in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Normally an entrant has to qualify to participate, but each year, Ironman reserves seven slots for people that embody the Ironman mantra "Anything is Possible".
Dean is currently a candidate to be awarded one of these slots. Help us make his dream a reality. Click on the link provided, be inspired, and vote daily for Dean!* We truly believe anything is possible!
To learn more about Dean's fight against cancer, visit: http://teamirondean.blogspot.com or the Team IronDean Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TeamIrondean?fref=ts or at: http://bit.ly/16wAVPr/