BREA ( —A 77-year-old Brea man said his passion for marathon running helps him become physically and emotionally strong enough to take care of his wife who has multiple sclerosis.

John Creel’s wife of 54 years, Ingrid, was diagnosed with MS in 1988.

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Since then, Creel has been her caregiver, as Ingrid is unable to walk or feed herself.

“Being a caregiver is not easy …I pull her up (the stairs) every night in a wheelchair. It’s frustrating for me because she can’t do what she wants to do. Now, I’m everything,” Creel said.

The former Green Beret, who is approaching his 60th marathon after starting to run nine years ago, said his workouts give him the strength to deal with his situation.

“I have to lift her a lot and weight training helps me do that,” he said.

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Creel takes his wife with him on almost every marathon and arranges a private caregiver for her.

With every run, however, he said he gives God an earful.

“Why do people who maim and kill others never have to suffer the consequences like someone with MS? What’s she ever done to anybody? I have trouble with that,” said Creel.

Creel, who plans to run in the LA Marathon on Sunday, said he will never give up on his wife.

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“Love is sometimes showing affection, but love is what you do to each other because you want to…not because you have to,” he said.