Name: Jim Detwiler
Hometown: Union, KY
Northern Kentucky is home for me and my beautiful family: Gwen, my wife of 23 years, and my children, Jacob (18) and Katelyn (15). I am originally from the Pittsburgh area, which means I am, of course, a huge Steelers and Penguins fan, and I bleed black and gold! My career in education started as a music teacher 23 years ago, and today I am the Deputy Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer for the Boone County Schools, Kentucky's third largest school district. My family, colleagues and students have been overwhelmingly supportive of me and my “Musicians Moving Mountains for MM” campaign, and I am forever grateful.
I was diagnosed with asymptomatic multiple myeloma in 2016 as a "lucky catch" while looking for a suspected food allergy. I have not yet begun treatment, but I know that treatment is imminent. I have struggled with feeling helpless to do anything to stop this disease from progressing. Because I feel physically great, I sometimes find myself wondering if maybe the doctors made a mistake. But, the labs and scans every three months always bring me back to reality. I have learned that there is no way around this mountain. "The obstacle is the path." So, I am looking straight down this path and up the mountain, determined to help move it out of the way for all! I thank God for this opportunity to fight multiple myeloma through the MM4MM trek to Mount Everest Base Camp.
As an educator of 20-plus years, I have been inspired by hundreds of young students. There are students who sing songs to me and send me inspirational videos and tell me "you got this, Dr. D!" And, there are also those students I watch spend every minute of each day trying to move their own mountains: poverty, health, disability, addiction, etc. Just getting up in the morning and getting to school is a major victory for many of them. They understand better than most that "the obstacle is the path," and they are stronger than I can ever imagine being. They attack their obstacles with hope and joy, and without complaint. I am in awe of them. They are great inspirations for me as I begin my MM battle. There is hope! We can do it! We can find a cure!