Richard McCluney Patient

It has been 6.5 years since I was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma at age 50. When I discovered that the then average life expectancy of a myeloma patient was 4.5 years, I was less than encouraged!

Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of the plasma cell, where the cancer cells attack the body, in my case, the bones in my back. My journey since diagnosis has been at times frightening but also quite amazing. My myeloma lay misdiagnosed for some time while I dealt with mystery pain, broken bones, and extreme fatigue. I had never heard of myeloma when I was eventually diagnosed. When my wife and I knew what we were dealing with, we were quickly able to get me treatment, initially with chemotherapy. Once stable, I was lucky enough to get my back repaired through surgery, and a new lighter, somewhat shorter version of me underwent a stem cell transplant. Unfortunately, the stem cell transplant did not work, which was an important lesson in my myeloma journey. Everyone’s disease is different, and the need for multiple treatment options for patients is essential in treating myeloma. The next treatment I tried was a new immunotherapy treatment called Daratumumab (aka Dara), which has been nothing short of amazing. It has enabled me to be virtually cancer free for nearly 7 years and lead a relatively normal life. It has also meant I have been able to get back to doing the physical activities I love, like sailing and cycling.

This August, to celebrate my continued good fortune, I am participating in the MMRF Road to Victories Ride in Oregon. The ride will raise awareness for multiple myeloma and funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to further their work collaborating with patients, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. This collaboration has raised awareness of the disease and helped provide multiple treatment options, ensuring that myeloma is an increasingly treatable disease.

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The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is the largest nonprofit in the world solely focused on accelerating a cure for each and every multiple myeloma patient. We drive the development and delivery of next-generation therapies, leverage data to identify optimal and more personalized treatment approaches, and empower myeloma patients and the broader community with information and resources to extend their lives. Central to our mission is our commitment to advancing health equity so that all myeloma patients can benefit from the scientific and clinical advances we pursue. Since our inception, the MMRF has committed over $500 million for research, opened nearly 100 clinical trials, and helped bring 15+ FDA-approved therapies to market, which have tripled the life expectancy of myeloma patients. To learn more, visit

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