Hometown: Durham, CT
Our lives changed forever on Nov. 28, 2012, when my husband, Scott, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at the age of 37. He underwent surgery to fuse his C1-C4, months of induction chemo (RVD), and an autologous stem cell transplant.
At present, Scott is currently in a complete remission with no evidence of disease. His team at Yale and at Dana Farber are incredible - smart, dedicated, up to date with the latest research and drugs in the pipeline so that we know what we need to do to keep this beast at bay. Our girls, who were ages 6 and 9 at the time, are now 13 and 16 and know a lot more about cancer, treatments, and myeloma than they did back then, and probably more than kids their age should.
Scott follows the work of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation closely; we’ve got a vested interest in which drugs are up for FDA approval and which are in various trials stages, and the MMRF has been instrumental in new treatment advances. To pay it forward, Scott and our older daughter participated in one of the 5K walk-a-thons in Boston, and he learned there about the MM4MM endurance events. I had just started hiking as a part of my mental health self-care work (being a mom, a teacher, and ‘myeloma wife’ as I call it can take a lot out of you). Scott shared the info he got about the hikes with me, and I was hooked. I’d hiked Mt. Washington and the Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire the previous summer, so Iceland grabbed my interest and I applied. I’m really excited about our team and am looking forward to meeting other people who understand the ups and downs of life with multiple myeloma.
I hike for a cure. I hike for my husband, who has been given a second chance at life through treatments, resources, and medical advances. I hike for my girls, so that they don’t have to have the same conversation with their own children some day. I hike to thank all those who have worked so hard to make this diagnosis a little more bearable. I hike for my mental health, for clarity, and for purpose. I hike to eliminate this horrible disease.