How did you get involved with the MMRF?
My mom was first diagnosed with the disease at the young age of 79. In seeking treatment for her, I found through my research that her best chance for survival was to get a stem cell transplant before she started other recommended chemotherapies. Regrettably, mom’s first expert in the field told her that she was too old for a stem cell transplant and suggested starting chemotherapy right away. Fortunately, as a masters-prepared nurse, I was mom’s advocate and sought out other treatment facilities that would agree to perform a stem cell transplant for her. She has been virtually clear of the disease since then! From my perspective, not all patients have an advocate in the healthcare field that can easily navigate the complicated waters, and I have found MMRF to be an excellent resource for cutting-edge patient education and an excellent organization to support our quest to find the cure!
What do you want people to know about multiple myeloma?
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer of the plasma cells. Much like an invasive species, the overgrown plasma cell prevents the healthy growth of red and white blood cells that are necessary for life. At this time, multiple myeloma has no cure, though early recognition and treatment have proven very successful for many new patients, enabling them to extend their lives, some beyond 20 years!
Why is participating in the MMRF Road to Victories ride important to you?
Participating in MMRF RV2 is important to me because I understand firsthand that research saves lives, and supporting this foundation to find a cure will not only benefit myeloma patients but could very well benefit other types of cancer patients in their treatments as well.
What are you looking most forward to/excited about in regard to the ride?
I am looking forward to participating in an activity that brings together a very diverse group of people in advocating for the same cause. I am most fortunate that—as a healthy individual—I can experience this bucket list ride through beautiful countryside that I would otherwise not get to see!
What does your training regimen for this event look like?
I live in NY and train by riding with a group of 10-12 riders weekly around q 32-mile lake; the terrain is ideal for road riding, with many challenging hills to climb.
Who/what inspires you?
My mother inspires me; she has taught me that hard times and diversity can be overcome through education and kindness. She also taught me that a lesson must be learned in every battle (win or lose), or the battle will rise again once more. She has taught me more than I could have learned from any book!
Have you participated in previous MMRF events? If so, which/when?
At Janssen, we’re creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We’re the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: Cardiovascular, Metabolism & Retina; Immunology; Infectious Diseases & Vaccines; Neuroscience; Oncology; and Pulmonary Hypertension.About Janssen Oncology