When were you first diagnosed with multiple myeloma?
How has it affected you, physically?
I had many bone lesions with significant pain. Also, I was severely anemic, which caused fatigue and shortness of breath. There were many side effects from treatment as well.
How did you get involved with the MMRF?
When I was first diagnosed, I had never even heard of myeloma. Online research led me to the MMRF. I found it to be a wonderful resource for information about the disease and treatment options.
What do you want people to know about multiple myeloma?
Although myeloma is presently considered to be incurable, it is treatable. Many patients like me have been in remission for many years without being on treatment.
Why is participating in the MMRF Road to Victories ride important to you?
Of course, raising money for research is important. But more important is how it helps to raise awareness. Myeloma symptoms are frequently confused with other medical issues, which results in delayed diagnosis and treatment. Promoting greater awareness helps future patients by creating an environment where diagnosis is made earlier.
What are you looking most forward to/excited about in regard to the ride?
This is my third R2V ride, so I am looking forward to reuniting with some old friends as well as meeting new ones. I have never been to Oregon, so I am looking forward to seeing the sights along the Columbia River Gorge.
What does your training regimen for this event look like?
I regularly ride over 10,000 miles a year outside, even though I live in the Northeast. So my training does not change much from my regular riding schedule.
Describe any challenges you have needed to overcome to be able to participate in this event.
I have been in remission for quite a long time; the myeloma does not presently challenge me. I am, however, 70 years old, so I need to keep challenging myself to keep up the work.
Who/what inspires you?
I am inspired by the expert myeloma doctors who tirelessly work to care for us. I am also inspired by the collaboration between the medical and pharmaceutical communities, which have created an ever-increasing pipeline of new treatments.
Have you participated in previous MMRF events? If so, which/when?
I participated in the R2V rides in 2019 and 2022.
Anything additional to add?
It is events like R2V that help to energize the myeloma community. I have become a mentor to many other myeloma patients through the MMRF Mentor Program and other similar programs.
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