CURE Honors Eight Individuals and One Organization for Support of Those With Multiple Myeloma

In keynote speech, TV and movie actress Marlee Matlin urges resilience.
BY BETH FAND INCOLLINGO @fandincollingo
PUBLISHED: MARCH 19, 2016
In her keynote speech, TV and movie actress Marlee Matlin (second from left) spoke about her father's diagnosis with multiple myeloma, dealing with adversity by cultivating a good sense of humor, and more.
In her keynote speech, TV and movie actress Marlee Matlin (second from left) spoke about her father's diagnosis with multiple myeloma, dealing with adversity by cultivating a good sense of humor, and more.
When it comes to being deaf in a hearing world, a recipe for success is to simply have “chutzpah,” and the same can be said for those fighting multiple myeloma.

Actress Marlee Matlin’s dad taught her to have that kind of strength in the face of challenges, and then he embodied the philosophy himself after he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, the Academy Award winner told an audience of patients with the disease, their loved ones, patient advocates and health professionals during CURE magazine’s inaugural Multiple Myeloma Heroes Awards in Miami March 18. The event, which honored eight people for making heroic contributions in support of those with myeloma, took place during the 20th Annual International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies: Focus on Leukemias, Lymphomas, and Myeloma, hosted by Physicians Education Resource.

Matlin won the Academy Award at age 21 for her leading role in the movie “Children of a Lesser God,” and has appeared in television shows including “Seinfeld,” “The West Wing,” “The L Word,” “Switched at Birth,” “Picket Fences” and “Dancing with the Stars.”

As a child who lost her hearing at age 18 months, Matlin received a tremendous amount of support from her parents and siblings, who taught her to deal with adversity by never taking no for an answer and by cultivating a good sense of humor. They lived those ideals, first by rejecting a doctor’s suggestion to send Matlin away to a school for the deaf, and later by creating stories that made her feel comfortable with being different – she had an “accent,” her brother told children who asked, because their parents were foreign spies.

When her father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003, he lived by the same principles, Matlin recalled.

“He lived his life and (the cancer) was just part of who he was. He did not let it define him. He got up every day and proved everyone wrong,” she said. “He lost his 10-year struggle, but his life lessons are in me, just as they are for the heroes here tonight who will never take no for an answer.”

Four of the people honored during the event — a doctor, a nurse, the founder of a website and a patient advocate — made their contributions individually, and four did so together, as part of a group that climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for multiple myeloma research. In addition, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was given a special award for making a difference in the lives of people with the disease.



Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Myeloma CURE discussion group.
x-button
 
CURE wants to hear from you! We are inviting you to Share Your Story with the readers of CURE. Submit your personal experience with cancer by visiting Share Your Story
 
Not yet receiving CURE in your mailbox? Sign up to receive CURE Magazine by visiting GetCureNow.com
x