Mike Cullen Johnson Patient

When were you first diagnosed with multiple myeloma? 

November 2022

How has it affected you, physically? 

Other than occasional fatigue and back aches,  I’ve felt fairly normal since the SCT almost a year ago.  

How did you get involved with the MMRF?  

After being diagnosed and experiencing all the emotional “ups & downs,” I soon realized that the best medicine for me would be setting a goal so outrageous and “out of the box” that it completely consumed all of my idle thoughts.  While searching for ideas, I was routinely drawn to the videos and stories of people who set out to cycle cross country and after overcoming all the initial reasons not to do it, I decided to simply say “YES.”  Soon after I began the process of identifying individuals and groups who had either done this or were planning to do it,  MMRF was one of the first organizations that I found.  Almost a year later, I’m preparing for my first Road to Victories event.

What do you want people to know about multiple myeloma? 

That while it’s not yet curable, it’s highly manageable with a great healthcare team, the support of family and friends, and a super positive mindset.

Why is participating in the MMRF Road to Victories ride important to you? 

It’s important to me, because I believe a big part of any cure is first believing a cure is possible.  My hope is that participating in this ride helps to increase faith and inspire others who are dealing with all the initial anxieties and stresses of their diagnosis. 

What does your training regimen for this event look like?  

I’m currently training indoors on Zwift and usually riding anywhere from 50-100 miles weekly.  The emphasis over the next several weeks will be to gradually increase my elevation totals.

Describe any challenges you have needed to overcome to be able to participate in this event. 

While out cycling at the beginning of the covid pandemic, some friends and I were witnesses to a fatal hit and run of a pedestrian.  After that tragic experience I’ve been largely reluctant to resume riding outdoors.  I’ll eventually restart, but definitely looking at this as one of the greatest mental challenges to overcome in preparing for and participating in the 2024 Road to Victories ride.  

Who/what inspires you? 

I’m highly inspired by individuals who face incredible odds or obstacles, but refuse to quit reaching higher and pushing themselves out of the seasons of stagnation that typically accompany life’s many challenges.

Have you participated in previous MMRF events? If so, which/when? 

This is my first.


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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 www.themmrf.org.

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