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Alaska Mushing Legend Lance Mackey’s Death After Disease


Alaska sled dog mushing icon Lance Mackey passed away on September 7, 2022. Lance Mackey’s cause of death was revealed after his death at the age of 52.

Mackey’s Comeback Kennel announced on its Facebook page that he sadly died Wednesday evening after a long battle with cancer. Despite surviving a bout with throat cancer 20 years ago, Lance announced last year that he had been re-diagnosed with the brutal disease.

Lance Mackey was born on June 2, 1970, in Anchorage, Alaska, united states. His career as a sled dog musher began with his 1st appearance in the 2001 Iditarod–placing 36th out of the 57.

Lance Mackey's Death After Disease.

By 2007, he had quickly moved up the ranks to become the 1st person to win the Yukon Quest and Iditarod in the same year. He continued to set high standards: in 2008, Lance won the Tustumena 200, followed by his 4th consecutive Yukon Quest win and his 2nd Iditarod win.

While the Alaska mushing legend chose not to run the Yukon Quest, he captured his 3rd consecutive Iditarod in 2009. In 2010, he rejoined the fray and finished 2nd in the Yukon Quest.

He also secured his 4th consecutive Iditarod win. On May 7, 2020, the Iditarod announced that because of a failed drug test, Mackey’s 21st place finish at the 2020 Iditarod will be vacated.

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Lance Mackey’s Cause of Death Relates to his Illness

Dog sled racer Lance Mackey’s cause of death was reported as throat cancer. Lance was diagnosed with throat cancer for the 2nd time last August.

According to reports, the legendary dog musher was in and out of the hospital since June. Mackey wrote on Facebook in August 2022, “the past several months have been the hardest/worst part.”

He continued: “Just wanted to say thanks to my friends and family for everything and I love you all so much. I Fully believe it is not my time yet and I’m still doing pretty good but I’m going to have a lot of things to get done in my life.”

Alaska Mushing Legend Lance Mackey Passed Away.

Mackey’s mother went to Facebook to share the terrible news. “May the champion musher Rest In Peace,” a fan said under the post.

Another fan said: “Thanks for the memories. My sincere condolences to the entire Mackey family and friends. Sadly the world lost a great musher and a even greater person.”

In his personal life, Lance openly struggled with addiction. After he tested positive for methamphetamine during the 2020 Iditarod, he announced he would be checking himself into rehab. Lance also previously spoke about his struggles with cocaine and alcohol.

His parents divorced at a young age. As a teenager, he was arrested multiple times for various charges. After he lived with her for some time, his mother eventually sent him to live with his father at the Coldfoot Truckstop.

From there, Mackey transitioned into life as a fisherman before finally returning to his calling as a dog sled musher.

Mackey married three times and divorced twice. On October 4, 2020, his partner, Jenne Smith, tragically passed away in an ATV accident. Mackey and Smith had shared two children, Atigun and Lozen, who were under the age of five at the time of the tragic accident.

After the sad news was revealed, his fans and friends took to social media to pay tribute to him. “Rest In Peace Lance Mackey. You have inspired hundreds and hundreds of mushers with your grit and enthusiasm; if I could harness even an ounce of your toughness I’d count myself as lucky. We’ve lost a great musher and dog man,” one social media user tweeted.

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