Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K Run/Walk
No Official Race in 2022
Although the Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K Run/Walk will no longer officially be taking place, Bruce’s daughter Jill will still be walking the race route informally in September.
By liking or following the Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso page on Facebook, you can get regular updates about the unofficial walk. All are welcome to join and walk with Jill in honor and support of Bruce and mesothelioma warriors everywhere.
About the Ohio Race
Bruce A. Waite was a teacher at Mansfield Senior from 1959-1989 and an avid runner for over 30 years. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2002 and died in 2003. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure and can take 10-50 years to develop.
The Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K Run/Walk honors the life and legacy of Bruce and takes place at the high school where he taught. It also provides the mesothelioma community with the opportunity to gather and support one another while raising awareness about mesothelioma.
“I just wanted to honor my father and create an event to fight back and help others in some way as they face the monster (mesothelioma) that wreaks havoc on their lives. Each mile is love that we share.”
– Jill Waite, Daughter of Bruce Waite
In 2021, the Bruce A Waite race celebrated its 10th year, with more than 250 participants. Cumulatively, the Ohio event raised over $90,000 in memory of Bruce and other mesothelioma warriors.
These funds go to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports critical mesothelioma research to hopefully someday find a cure for this fatal disease.
Bruce A. Waite
Bruce A. Waite was a man among men. He stood strong in integrity in every aspect of his life.
As an educator, Mr. Waite focused diligently on his students, and their opportunities to learn. He taught English (Advanced Comp, Great Books, Practical Reading and Writing) from 1959-1989, and served as National Honor Society advisor.
He believed in the structure of the language and the practice of speaking and writing well. Many college professors remarked that they knew when freshmen students had completed classes with Mr. Waite because of their command of the English language.
Bruce's Challenge to His Students
Bruce did much more than simply teach — he imparted knowledge. He did not measure success by simply marking grades in a grade book, but by exacting a change in the lives of his students.
And in keeping with his altruistic nature, Mr. Waite measured his success second to the successes of his students. His students were so important to him that he never forgot a name, even of those students from earlier years of teaching.
He was a mentor for his students and his colleagues, and continually set the example of humility. He was a well-respected man and he lived his life with impact, although his humility never allowed him to understand the magnitude of his sacrifices for others.
Nancy and Jill Waite, from left, along with other volunteers work the registration table during the 2019 Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K.
His Love of the Run
Bruce was an avid runner, never missing a day in over 33 years. Tendonitis (which required him to walk with crutches, which he put aside to run), illnesses, and severe weather did not stop his determination. He kept a running journal, in which he logged over 76,000 miles in numerous states.
Nothing stopped him when he ran — the only time his step ever wavered was his encounter with a moose on the path while running in Wyoming. He ran as catharsis, and he did so with ease and freedom.
In 2002, however, his breathing became more labored and a series of appointments and surgeries led to the diagnosis of mesothelioma — cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
His wife Nancy and daughter Jill by his side, Bruce’s runs became walks, and then his walks became just the fight to breathe.
His commitment to running was his greatest weapon against the mesothelioma, and as he did in every aspect of his life, Bruce Waite faced his illness with determination — but the insidious effects of this ravaging disease had been forming in his body for 30-40 years.
Bruce Waite took his final breath on March 25, 2003, but his legacy continues on — through a scholarship, and now through this 5K.
Organized in his name and honor, all proceeds from the Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K Run/Walk will be given to further research needed to develop better treatments and, someday, a cure for mesothelioma.
If Bruce’s legacy can assist one family to not endure what his did, then his suffering was not in vain.
On his chalkboard were written his own words by which he lived and a challenge to us all: