Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Cause - Time and a Cure for Multiple Myeloma

Jeanie Dreyer, my wife, best friend, and incredible mom of our four beautiful children, has Multiple Myeloma.
OK, at this stage, if you don't know what Multiple Myeloma is,  you are wondering if this is a skin or eye condition, or something else.  You see the suffix "oma", so you are thinking it’s not good, but what the heck is it.

As a general description, Multiple Myeloma is an incurable blood cancer developed in the plasma cells most commonly resident in bone marrow.   This cancer progresses, initially symptom free, until the plasma cell mutation/reproduction and production of monoclonal protein gets to a level where patients begin experiencing unusual bone pain, bone fractures that occur to easily, fatigue, infection,  tumor creations (plasmacytoma), or at a further level of progression, kidney failure.  All diagnoses occur differently and there are no standard blood tests to detect this cancer in advance (yet).

To read frequently asked questions about Multiple Myeloma, click here.
Fifteen years ago, a diagnosis was often followed by a phrase similar to "get your affairs in order because your life expectancy is 1-3 years".  Now, with organizations like the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the MMRF, a leading charitable organization driving research and development, life expectancy is being extended to 3, 5, 7, and even 12 or more years from diagnosis.  The MMRF has done this driven by the efforts of Kathy Giusti, a patient herself,  and has been effective through her pioneering the facilitation of the triad of patient, doctor, and pharmaceutical companies, to lead to groundbreaking treatment processes and pharmaceuticals.

Incredible huh?
Which brings me to the point of this blog. I am trying to raise money and awareness for this incredible organization, and most important, the results it brings forward for those who have Multiple Myeloma. I am asking you for your donation to help raise funds to fight this terrible disease by supporting the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF).  Almost 90% of the money you donate will go directly to research to help provide better treatments and, ultimately, to find a cure.  Click here to learn about the MMRF's impressive accreditation and success.

My goal is to raise $ 15,000.00 this year through this and other events with my friends and team members. For the Patriot Half, Larry Rodman and Beth Falkner will be joining me - Larry will be completing his first Half-Distance triathlon and Beth will be completing her first AquaBike.

If you can, please donate here and read on below to learn more.
To learn more about Jeanie's fight with Multiple Myeloma, click here.

So, why not just write a blog and focus on fundraising, rather than tie it together with an endurance event, like the 2013 Patriot Half - a Half-Distance triathlon - 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run - 70.3 miles total. 

Well, there are a few reasons.
First, I want to provide some exposure for the MMRF Power Team, a collection of individuals and teams focused on the same goal - bringing awareness to the goals of the MMRF through competing in athletic and endurance events and raising much needed funds for the MMRF.  Last year, a collection of incredible people like Eric Gelber, Marty Perlmutter, Suzi Larson, and my favorite, Jeanie Dreyer,  raised $2.3 million for the MMRF.  Hopefully if you find my story somewhat compelling, you will be blown away by some of these people and their accomplishments.    Click on their names below to learn more.   

Eric ran from the desert to the mountains,  Death Valley to Mt. Whitney in California ( 135 miles ).

Marty rode 1400 miles from Florida to Maine on his bicycle with Diane Sawyer and many other supporters.

Jeanie and Suzi ran the Boston Marathon, less than a year after Jeanie completed her stem cell treatment process and recovery and on one of the hottest days is race history.

            And there are dozens of more stories and people just like these featured supporters.

Second, I want to EARN your donation.   That is, I want to reach a goal that is very challenging for me and I want you to help drive my efforts.  Pretty selfish huh?  Actually, having the knowledge that your donation is made on my accountability to attempt, and complete this goal, will keep me going when I have a real bad training day or I feel like quitting.  And, on a more compelling front, I'd like to keep you entertained and informed through our progress, so that you can see the outcome and awareness you are driving with your generous support.

Third, on a personal front, I want to know what it is like to attempt and, hopefully, achieve a goal that in my mind is insurmountable.  I want to prove that anything can be achieved with hard work, dedication, and inspiration.  I want to show this to my kids and most importantly, I want to show this to my wife Jeanie, who is facing the challenge of her life - every day. 

Bottom line - your support of the MMRF is supporting the hope and dreams of a cure for those patients, like Jeanie, that are facing their mortality every day, one the of the hardest challenges ever.  Your support is buying time to help all these patients get to the one day when there will be a cure.

Thank you, and if you haven't done so, I hope you can donate here.

No comments:

Post a Comment