Go Team Kili 2017!
February 21, 2016
Wednesday, February 22
As the Mt. Kilimanjaro team climbs this week, I am on the sidelines cheering them on, applauding, grateful for this team, the MM4MM organization, these incredible people and their commitment. And couldn’t be more proud of these patients, caregivers, professionals and loved ones who committed to make this happen. Those who raise funds ARE making a difference!
The progress MMRF has made by funding critical research with their precision medicine model is making all the difference for patients like me. Myeloma is a cunning disease. Myeloma is different for different patients…and different throughout time in the same patient as time goes on. Precision medicine (or personalized medicine) means that soon each patient can get the right drug at the right time based on his or her genetic makeup. With research like this, new drugs to market and organizations like the three MM4MM partners to FIGHT this disease, we can find cures.
This progress is personal for me. I am a 10-year survivor and was privileged to be part of the Machu Picchu team last August. Together, we climbed, one foot in front of the other, making lasting friendships and making a difference. The work of the MMRF, the continued commitment of people like this Mt. Kilimanjaro MM4MM team and partnerships like this one with Takeda Oncology and CURE are the reasons I am LIVING my life with this cancer. Dollars, research and drugs that are the HOPE for patients like me, empowered to know research is working, new drugs are allowing us to live longer, and to live with possibilities we didn’t think possible only a few years ago.
And since my hike, I am back in the fight. Actively moving my mountain each week, as I undergo treatment to kick this disease back into remission. Moving my mountain with possibilities that weren’t available when I was diagnosed some 10 years ago. Triplet therapies, one of many new combinations of drugs used to now treat this nasty disease. Possibilities to be inspired, to move mountains, to hope for a future where the flames refused to be extinguished and we all honor the resiliency of the human spirit.
So Mt. Kili team: Climb that mountain! Because you CAN, because you ARE, and because you are doing it, one step at a time, and together as a team. For the patients, their families, the team and others on the sidelines cheering you on from all corners of the world, don’t quit, reach that summit and know you are making a difference!