Amy Barbuto And Don Hickey
Dear Friends & Family,
I am so excited to be joining the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Team For Cures for my 3rd MMRF Team For Cures marathon! This time I will be participating in the Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2019.
As many of you may know, my running story began at the young age of 14 when my dad encouraged me to start running as a way to help recover from a horseback riding accident that nearly cost me my left leg. Little did we know that we were about to start. Several dozen half marathons later, I decided to take on the challenge of running a full marathon.
I ran my first full marathon in Houston in January 2015. My goal was to qualify for Boston. My training was going great until September 2014 when I experienced what would be one of my first of dozens of life-threatening anaphylaxis reactions to wheat. While in the ER I had a heart attack as an adverse reaction from some of the medication they gave me for the anaphylaxis reaction. I abruptly traded my running shoes and Gatorade for central lines and breathing treatments in the ICU. That certainly knocked me down but I decided to defy the odds and get right back up. I ended up finishing the Houston marathon in 3:33:51, just 69 seconds under the qualifying time for the 2016 Boston marathon! Unfortunately, qualifying for Boston and getting a bib are two different things. My qualifying time wasn’t fast enough to earn a bib.
I knew that God had a plan for me and that I was not supposed to back down and give up here. I started researching charities and I came across the MMRF. Ten years earlier, my dad was diagnosed with MGUS, which is the precursor stage to multiple myeloma. Sitting there looking at the MMRF website brought tears to my eyes and I immediately felt God’s presence and could tell that this was his plan for me.
I eagerly emailed Jane at the MMRF and told her my story. I prayed that my story would be touching enough to earn me one of the few coveted MMRF Boston marathon bibs. Fortunately my story continues and I got a bib with the MMRF for the 2016 Boston Marathon! I could now run the race of my dreams and dedicate it all to my dad.
My story with the MMRF continued when my dad and I ran the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon together as part of the MMRF Team For Cures. It was such an incredible experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to share that with him. We had the time of our lives!
I am ready to write the next chapter of my journey with the MMRF by running the 2019 Chicago Marathon! My goal is to raise at least $1,750 for the MMRF.
Did you know, multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and, though much progress has been made, myeloma still has one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates of all cancers.
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 TEN new treatments in the time that it usually takes for ONE new drug to come to market. And there are 2-3 more treatment options right around the corner.
This is so important because there are 12 different types of multiple myeloma, and 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. An outstanding 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 the past twelve years in a row.
Please support my participation in the Chicago Marathon benefiting the MMRF. I have made a commitment to raise at least $1,750 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.
Running with the MMRF is more to me that just running a marathon. It is a way to help support a charity that means so much to my family. I have met so many incredible teammates along the way that have shaped my life and provided me with such amazing inspiration to always give 200% and be the very best you can be each and every day.
Please contribute whatever you can. It all adds up!