Bob Brunner is a 24-year veteran whose Navy career ended in September 2004 due to being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in January 2003. At the time of Bob’s diagnosis, he was the Command Master Chief (CMC) onboard the USS Ashland. Bob had blood work performed on a return from a brief underway period prior to deploying with the Magnificent Seven to the Persian Gulf to support the UN resolution against Iraq.
Twenty-four hours prior to deploying, the blood work came back showing abnormalities that could have been leukemia or some other type of cancer. Three hours before the 0700 underway period, Bob was admitted to Portsmouth Naval Hospital. Lucky for Bob, had he gotten underway as scheduled, he would have been given an anthrax shot along with a chicken-pox injection later that day. One or both of them would more than likely have led to a rapid decline in Bob’s health. Several days later, a pathology report determined he had Stage 3-A Multiple Myeloma. Bob’s health continued to deteriorate for the next three weeks before he was sent to Walter Reed Army Hospital and given the protocol of two stem-cell transplants. Both transplants were successful, and he was released from Walter Reed in the fall of 2003.
Bob has been in remission since then and has been an active runner in many events including recent Boston Marathons. Prior to being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, Bob had been a very active runner, and had done 3:20’s in two of the three marathons he had run. In January of 2008, he completed the Walt Disney Marathon in 3:53, accomplishing his goal of completing it in less than four hours. On November 9, 2008 he finished the Outer Banks, North Carolina Marathon in 3:26:28, which opened the door to Boston in 2009 and 2010.
Bob’s wife, Nancy (Delaney) is on active duty in the US Navy and in March 2010 returned from an extended tour of duty at a military medical facility near Farah, Afghanistan. In Southeastern Virginia, she represents the Navy as a regional representative in local races. Both Bob and Nancy are members of the Tidewater Striders Running Club and are frequent participants in local races. In a recent local Shamrock Sportsfest Half Marathon, Bob and his team placed 1st in the Men’s Masters Team Category. Their two young daughters Kaitlyn (b. 2003) and Madison (b. 2006) are also budding young striders.