I will be participating in the MMy Ride for Cure event beginning on September 2, 2017, in Los Angeles, California as part of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Team For Cures. Beginning that day, a team of 9 people will ride from Manhattan Beach, California to Westport, CT. An additional team of 10 will take on the first 8 days of the ride, from California to Flagstaff, Arizona. Thanks to the support of our sponsor, NOT ONE PENNY of the funds donated will go towards the cost of the ride.
The work ahead of me? I'll be riding the 50-day coast-to-coast ride - 3400 miles and have promised to raise at least $15,000 to support the MMRF. Training for this event is a big challenge, but nothing compared to the challenges faced by patients with multiple myeloma (MM).
All riders have a direct connection to multiple myeloma, as a patient, support care giver, family member or physician treating MM patients. I am a patient, first diagnosed with MM on routine physical exam in December 2003, with a rapidly developing case. The initial outlook wasn't that great, and I had 8 months of intensive chemo, followed by a bone marrow transplant in August 2004. With a brand new immune system, I was 12 years old August 12, 2016, and am miraculously in complete remission for the past year and a half. As a dentist and director of a graduate program co-located with the hospital, I became a colleague of my phenomenal MM physician treating many MM patients with oral complications, and still do this in private practice. My physician became a very good friend, and we were partners on the 2016 MMRF expedition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Great trip, and we raised $250,000 for the MMRF! Knowing that I am one of the few very lucky patients, I also speak for MM support groups and participate in MMRF events. The dedication of this organization is amazing, and I frequently tell people that if you ever have to get any cancer, this is the club to be in! Staying in good physical condition has always been one of my personal standards, and I do a lot of bicycling with my local club, the Mid-Cities Knuckleheads. We ride many local, regional and international events. At 70, I am very fortunate to be able to successfully participate in this cross country ride and hopefully help many MM patients through our efforts.
Why do we do this? Riding a bike won't cure cancer, but research will. Research takes money. I want to be part of the action that is getting us closer to a cure.
Multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and, sadly, has one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates of all cancers. But while there is no cure, great progress is being made.
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 past 18 months – a track record that's unparalleled in the oncology industry. 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.
Our Team Goal: Raise $ 400,000 for the MMRF!
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 MMy Ride for a Cure benefiting the MMRF. I have made a commitment to raise at least $15,000 for my 3400 mile ride across America and I need your help to get there. As a retired U.S. Army Colonel, this will be a great trip to see parts of the USA I haven't yet seen and meet people along the way.
Your tax deductible donation goes directly to help fast track life saving treatments for myeloma patients. Please donate whatever you can to support this great effort! It all adds up!
Thank you very much!