My Sarcoma Story – Doug

Doug Beck of Holladay, Utah, has been a skiing enthusiast for years. But on March 3, 2023, his 71st birthday, he will be skiing 30 kilometers for a special reason: in memory of his wife Peggy Shultz-Beck who passed away from soft tissue sarcoma in July 2022. His event Ski for Sarcoma will take place on Route 65 on the road to East Canyon in Salt Lake City.

Doug has an anonymous corporate sponsor paying for all event expenses, so 100% of the proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA). “In March of 2022, Peggy asked me to organize a cross country ski event to benefit SFA,” says Doug. “How could I possibly say no?” He has been training for his Ski for Sarcoma fundraiser for the past few months. During that time, his runs have ranged between 10 and 17 kilometers. “Not bad for an old fart,” he says.

This couple’s sarcoma journey began in November 2018 when Peggy was diagnosed with sarcoma in her wrist, and she began chemotherapy and radiation. What followed were dozens of surgeries and participation in a Treating to New Targets (TNT) clinical trial in Santa Monica, Calif. The trial location was hours away from their home, but the Becks made the trek 17 times to participate until doctors advised them that Peggy’s sarcoma was too far advanced for the clinical trial treatment to be of any help.

In February of 2020, Peggy’s arm was amputated. That’s when Doug decided to retire from his Director of Sales job with three Utah television stations to be a caregiver for his wife. “Taking care of her was the most rewarding job I’ve ever had,” says Doug.

Prior to her sarcoma diagnosis, Peggy had been a fitness instructor for over 50 years. Her classes included aerobics, yoga, Pilates and many more. Her employer of 29 years Sports Mall held a fundraiser in November of 2022 and placed a special plaque in the exercise studio in her memory. She was loved by her students, many of whom have already sponsored Doug’s ski fundraiser.

The outpouring of support from Peggy’s students, friends and family members has been overwhelming with dozens sponsoring his labor of love per kilometer skied. As of February 14, he has raised $13,500. “She was amazing,” says Doug. “She meant a lot to a lot of people.”