Dear Family and Friends,
I will be participating in the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma Mount Fuji Trek July 16-21, 2017 in honor of my father, Dennis Quinn, who lost his battle with multiple myeloma on August 14, 2014 at 63 years old.
For those of you who knew Dennis, many didn’t even know he had been battling this disease for as long as he had. With his infectious personality and ability to make you smile, it was hard to believe he was battling such a powerful enemy on a daily basis. But through his faith, his family and his work, he continued to fight and never complained about his diagnosis. Even after a hail-mary attempt at remission through a clinical trial at MD Anderson in Houston back in May of 2014, when he said that was it, he came back home to his sweet home Chicago and met with a new doctor, for one last chance as I was nearly 9 months pregnant. He desperately wanted to meet his first grandson (as you all know his pride and joy, Emma Grace) and he was not going to miss it. And he didn’t! He held on and was the first person to hold Jackson just an hour after his birth as Dad came from a treatment in the next building over. It was truly one of the happiest, most tearful moments of my life.
Dad was a big supporter of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). Multiple Myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and sadly, has one of the lowest five-year survival rates of all cancers. With the help of his doctors and the research done through the MMRF, Dad had 12 years instead of the 3 to 5 years that he was given at diagnosis. And while there is no cure, great progress is being made. With the help of the MMRF, my father was here for so many memories. As avid sports fan, he was here to see the White Sox win a World Series, the Bears go to the Super Bowl and the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups. He missed seeing his Cubbies win the World Series this past year, but was most certainly watching from his prime spot in Heaven. Even more special than these, he was here to walk me down the aisle, to welcome my daughter, Emma Grace, into the world and he hung on with every ounce of strength he had to be with us for the arrival of my son, Jackson Quinn.
And while the MMRF has made a lot of progress, myeloma is still a fatal disease. So come this July, I will embark on an amazing experience with an amazing team of myeloma connected individuals; patients, caregiver, doctors, nurses and those of us who have lost loved ones.
I have never climbed a mountain. I have barely hiked. But on this adventure, I will go well outside of my comfort zone and hike the 12,389 feet to the summit. The work ahead of me in training for this event is a big challenge, but nothing compared to the challenges face by patients with multiple myeloma.
Why do we do this? Because climbing a mountain won’t cure cancer, but research will. And research takes money. I want to be part of the action that is getting us closer to a cure.
In fact, thanks to the important work of the MMRF, the world’s leading private funder of myeloma research, the FDA has approved TEN new treatments, including FOUR in just the last eighteen months – a track record that’s unparalleled in oncology. One of these treatments, if approved earlier, could have potentially extended my father’s life until a cure is discovered. These drugs have almost tripled the lifespan of myeloma patients. The MMRF is “disrupting” the cancer research world and making changes in a broken drug development process that is having a positive impact on accelerating treatment for all cancers!
The MMRF is one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world. An outstanding 90% of the total MMRF budget goes DIRECTLY towards research and related programming. And the MMRF is in the top 1% of all charities, having earned Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating for the past eleven years in a row.
Please support my participation in the Mount Fuji Trek benefiting the MMRF. I have made a commitment to raise at least $5,000 and I need your help to get there. Please contribute whatever you can. It all adds up!!
Your tax deductible donation goes directly to help fast track life savings treatments for myeloma patients. Please donate whatever you can to support this great effort! It all adds up!
I thank you, my father thanks you and all thousands of myeloma patients who are still fighting thank you! And a huge thanks to Takeda Oncology, our sponsor!
Jean Quinn Wescher
**Want to double your impact? Inquire if your company matches your charitable donations and submit your donation information through your company's portal or HR to receive a match! Forward me your confirmation email and I can get your match added to my fundraising total!