Machu Picchu2016

Jane & KdW

Age: 47 & 52

Hometown: New York, NY

I was initially diagnosed in late July 2013 with multiple myeloma. Through intervention from a good family friend, I was fortunate to find an excellent team at Mount Sinai. I was declared a medical emergency by a myeloma specialist at MS, as I had a large plasmacytoma tumor on my spine that put me in critical condition of possible paralysis. Leading up to this, I was experiencing excruciating back pain, which made it hard to move. I had a compression fracture at the L2 spine. The first vertebra was basically gone, obliterated by the tumor. I have since had two spinal surgeries, two thyroidectomy surgeries, more lesions, radiation, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. I have been under the care of an incredibly brilliant myeloma doctor and an equally excellent hospital staff who has made all the difference in managing my hard-to-detect strain of myeloma. I soon began to understand the importance of research and the role clinical trials take to advance the treatments. During these intense three years, my wife Jane has been the support I could only wish and pray for. We have shared it all, the good, the bad and definitely the ugly. We have moved a few hills, and now we now we join in moving mountains!

While I was in the hospital nearly every week undergoing treatment with a targeted therapy as phase 3 trial, I was approached by Donna Catamero, a nurse practitioner, and asked if Jane and I would want to join the MM4MM trip and devote some of our time in supporting the MMRF. We are excited to contribute with the means that we have to find a cure for this disease. As we learn more about MMRF, we are deeply grateful for the central role that it takes in pushing innovation and advancement in finding a cure.

When diagnosed with cancer, I believe no one should be alone. We all need support to master this challenge. It all becomes too overwhelming. I am fortunate to have loving family and friends. Expanding these boundaries, pulling together and working as a team will provide the necessary support and advance the research so much faster and keep it focused.

I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to try to make a difference for the cancer community. I am also deeply humbled and grateful for my friends and family who joined me in my commitment to raise the bar in advancing medicine for cancer research.

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