Dear Friends and Family,
I will be participating in the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma (MM4MM) program in November 2019 by trekking through the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina to raise funds and awareness for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). To date MM4MM has raised over $2 million with patients, caregivers, family members, doctors, clinicians and others taking on epic challenges and reaching out to their circle of support. 100% of those funds go to the MMRF, thanks to our sponsors.
I’m a late addition to the 2019 Patagonia Trek and I’m honored to be a member of the team. The MMRF has done some amazing events with the MM4MM adventures since the 2016 Mt Kilimanjaro Climb.
I was on the 2017 Mt Kilimanjaro team that summited in March 2017 and am honored to be part of another team that is helping raise money for research to find a cure for multiple myeloma and other blood cancers
I will be hiking with some of the most incredible people all with a direct connection to multiple myeloma. Fourteen MM4MM team members specifically selected raise research funds and who won't stop until there is a cure. We'll be trekking through valleys, peaks, and glaciers of Patagonia.
Extreme hip pain took me to the doctor where I was dx in March 2009. Multiple Myeloma was something that I’d never heard of before and my journey down the MM Highway has been full of many ups and downs.
In the summer of 2009, after 5 weeks of radiation in Seattle and with the approval of my oncologist, I climbed and summited Colorado’s Mt. Democrat (14,155 ft.). I went back to my job at Alaska Airlines and resumed my charter business, Juneau Adventures, a fishing/whale watching sightseeing business in Juneau, Alaska during the summer months.
Climbing Mt. Democrat in 2009 after my radiation treatment become one of the major milestones in my journey. Mt Kilimanjaro (19,341) was for my fellow MM warriors that battle this disease daily and for the ones that have passed on.
I believe this Patagonia Trek will be another milestone – one that gives me the opportunity to do something proactive to help cure the disease that I and many others like me fight on a personal level every day.
Everyone has been touched by cancer in one way or another and it just plain sucks.
Grandma, Dad, 3 brothers, Tim, Jeff, Danny (DANO), great aunts and uncles, close friends and co-workers. The one that hurts the most is my youngest son recently dx with stage 1V Lymphoma. He’s undergoing treatment and is doing well.
I still remember oh so well what I call “the dark days after dx” For those of us in the Cancer Club know exactly what I’m talking about.
The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years. I have been in remission since Oct 2010, take mx chemo every day and live with knowing that the beast could rear its ugly head and return at any time.
Many years ago one of my dear friends and fellow Myeloma patient KC told me two important things. “Knowledge is power” and “don’t borrow tomorrow’s troubles today”. This advice has been something I try and live by everyday.
Getting involved in support groups and learning all I can about MM has helped me keep things into perspective and move forward with living and along the way I’ve met many wonderful people. Patients, doctors, caregivers, support groups and great folks like the staff at MMRF that tirelessly continue their goal of finding a cure for multiple myeloma and other blood cancers.
I have pledged to raise at least $10,000 for the MMRF. Training for this event is a big challenge, but nothing compared to the challenges faced by patients with multiple myeloma.
Multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer. Over 30,000 people are diagnosed yearly with multiple myeloma and an estimated 12,000 are predicted to die each year from the disease. I'm proud to be part of the ACTION that is helping fund and fuel important research: Thanks to the important work of the MMRF and our partners, the FDA has approved ELEVEN new treatments in the time that it usually takes for ONE new drug to come to market. There are more treatment options in the pipeline. This is so important because myeloma is a cunning disease which morphs through treatment, meaning patients often need new treatment options when they relapse.
The MMRF is one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world. Nearly 90% of the total MMRF budget goes directly towards research and related programming. The MMRF is in the top 1% of all charities, having earned Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating for 16 years.
Please support my participation in the Patagonia Trek benefiting the MMRF. I have made a commitment to raise at least $10,000 and I will need your help to get there. More importantly, patients need these funds to extend their lives while we get closer and closer to a cure.
Please contribute whatever you can as we climb towards a CURE!
**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!**