Talk to a Nurse 1-866-603-MMCT (Monday - Friday, 9am - 7pm ET)

Teams and Walkers

Select A Team:

Donate Register Log in

Running for me, running for Kent

Erika Tullberg

Erika Tullberg

November 4, 2018 - the day of the NYC Marathon - will be a year, a month and a day since my last cancer surgery, and almost a year since we lost one of my family’s oldest and closest friends to multiple myeloma. Those are the two reasons I made the (somewhat insane) decision to run this mountain of a race for the second time, this time in support of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

The first decision I had to make was whether I was going to use my guaranteed entry to the marathon this year. The reasons to let it go by were numerous, related both to my ongoing recovery from surgery and injuries (lingering and new) I have been managing since my last go-around in 2016. But as I have slowly regained my strength over the last months, returning to running has been a large part of feeling like a whole, strong, healthy person again – and the thought of training for and completing the marathon for a second time felt like it would be a huge step towards that broader goal, and a way to put this round of my cancer experience further behind me.

The second thing that I, my family and our broader ‘village’ went through over the last year was losing Kent, a college classmate and close friend of my parents, to multiple myeloma. I have known Kent my whole life, he was like an uncle to me. He was a loving husband and father, a fast friend to many, a fervent Red Sox fan, a sailor and a lifelong runner, completing the Boston Marathon several times. He was also one of the happiest people I've ever known, and made the people around him not only see the fun and joy in life, but join him in experiencing them fully.

Kent battled multiple myeloma for eight years, and many attributed his ability to withstand many brutal rounds of treatment to how strong and healthy he otherwise was when he was first diagnosed. In that way, he was a large part of how I got more serious about running a few years ago, as I quite honestly worry about what lies ahead for me. When I ran my first marathon in 2016, he was incredibly encouraging and excited about my journey. We talked the day before the race, and he reminded me to take time to look around at the people around me and really take in what I was part of, what we were all accomplishing together. That was the way he lived life, fully living in the moment.

So when I decided to run the marathon again, I knew I wanted to use it as an opportunity to honor and remember Kent and help other people who are battling multiple myeloma, which is the second most common form of blood cancer and has one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates of all cancers – which led me to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

The MMRF is the world's leading private funder of myeloma research and one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world. 90% of the total MMRF budget goes directly towards research and related programming. Thanks to the MMRF's work, the FDA has approved 10 new treatments, including four in just the past 18 months – an unparalleled track record. These drugs have almost tripled the lifespan of myeloma patients. And now the MMRF is funding over 20 additional treatments in various stages of development, giving hope to tens of thousands of patients and their families.

I have received so much support from so many people over the past months, and am incredibly thankful that I am in the position to reach out to you again to help me on this part of my journey. One of my oldest friends (another "niece" of Kent's) and I have each made a commitment to raise at least $3,000 for the MMRF, and I need your help to get there – please contribute whatever you can, it all adds up!

Thank you in advance for your love and support!

Erika

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Comments

$3,929
raised of $3,000 goal
 

Donations

$250.00
1. AAndea & Emmanuel
Go Erika! We love you and are so proud of you. xoxo Andrea and Emmanuel
$100.00
2. MMarcela, Albie, Nate & Teddy
We are so proud of you!
$100.00
3. ?Anonymous
$50.00
4. PFPaul Frame
Go, Erika, go!
$50.00
5. CNCarlton Nichols
$50.00
6. JLJoan Lillie
Go Erika! I'm rooting for you all the way! Thanks for doing this! Love, Joan

Thank you to Our Sponsors