Dear Friend and Family,
This past fall a routine doctor appointment became a day that has forever changed my life. After what seemed like a normal blood test I was told that I need to schedule time with a Hematologist in Oncology to review the results. At the time I had no clue what that meant. Fast forward a week and I knew deep in my heart that something wasn't right as we walked into the appointment. The doctor explained that my blood showed abnormal protein levels and suggested a bone marrow biopsy to confirm.
September 20th, 2019 the bone marrow biopsy results were in and I heard the words you never want to hear from a doctor...YOU HAVE CANCER. I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a rare blood cancer affecting the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common form of blood cancer. Over 30,000 people are diagnosed annually and an estimated 12,000 are predicted to die each year from the disease. While MM is currently not curable, with recent improvements in detection and treatment it often can be managed.
Further testing revealed high risk attributes and I began treatment the next week. In the blink of an eye my family and I’s entire world changed. Since that day life has been a whirlwind of Dr. Appointments, treatments, PET Scans, blood transfusions, more Dr. appointments, more testing…exhausting. At the time of writing this I’m powering through my 6th round of chemotherapy and gearing up for an Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant at the end of March. It's a fairly involved treatment, but one that will push this disease into a deep remission that should last years.
Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m a strong independent woman but I can’t do any of this without the support of my incredible husband, family, and friends. Up until the doctors tell me to stop, I’ll continue to live my active lifestyle, enjoy my time outdoors, in the gym, and spending as much time as I can with my amazing husband and beautiful boy. I firmly believe that I haven’t been given something I can’t handle. I may have cancer but it doesn't have me!
I have been accepted to participate in the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program! This October I’ll be trekking the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu. Hiking with some of the most incredible people, all with a direct connection to MM, Our team was specifically selected to raise research funds with a goal to find a cure. I have committed to raise a minimum of $20,000 for the MMRF. Training for this event is a big challenge, but nothing compared to the challenges faced by patients with multiple myeloma.
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.
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.
Please support my participation in the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu benefiting the MMRF. I have made a commitment to raise at least $20,000 (I'm shooting for way more!!!) and will need your help to get there. More importantly, patients like me need these funds to extend our lives while we get closer and closer to a cure.
Thank you all for your continued support!!