Despite Pandemic, the Myeloma Community is Succeeding in Advancing Awareness and Raising Funds for Incurable Blood Cancer
Flagship Multiple Myeloma March Proving that Myeloma Matters
MONTREAL, Oct. 2, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - Despite the odds and challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic - and thanks to the unwavering creativity, grit and drive of its community – Myeloma Canada's flagship fundraising event, the Multiple Myeloma March, has been re-imagined, with much success. Now in its 12th year, the annual five-kilometre event brings Canadian communities together to raise essential funds for research and to help improve the lives of all Canadians impacted by myeloma. Multiple myeloma, or myeloma, is the second most common form of incurable blood cancer. Every day, nine Canadians are diagnosed with myeloma, yet it still remains relatively unknown.
"Most of our Marches take place throughout National Blood Cancer Awareness month in September and run through early October, but our work together to increase awareness for myeloma, to raise critical funds toward a cure, and to improve the lives of all Canadians impacted by this devastating disease doesn't stop, pandemic or not," said Martine Elias, Executive Director of Myeloma Canada. "Since our founding 15 years ago, and through the outstanding work of our community, we have seen tremendous breakthroughs in myeloma research and treatment, enabling those with myeloma to live longer, with a better quality of life and more treatment options than when we began our work together 15 years ago."
The Myeloma Canada community has seen, first-hand, the life-changing impact that advances in myeloma research are having on the lives of those living with this incurable cancer. Through their creativity, passion and resolve, the volunteer March leaders - patients, caregivers, healthcare or industry professionals - together with participants in their areas, have re-imagined their March as an individual activity, a small group march, a zoom event and/or launch, or other.
"Our community is more engaged than ever," stated Michelle Oana, Myeloma Canada's Director of Development and Community Relations. "The Multiple Myeloma March is a story of success because of its people; what started out twelve years ago as one March has since grown into over 30 communities actively making a difference today. This continued growth over time, even in the face of adversity, is a pure testament to our community's commitment to support one another, to raise awareness, to find a cure. We can't thank them enough for all that they do."
Bob Trudeau, diagnosed with myeloma in 2016, is running for his life, literally. The new grandfather from Kamloops, BC ran and walked 50km in an effort to raise money and awareness for the disease. Danny Wade, a Montreal father of 3 young children, was diagnosed at the age of 42 in 2012. In accordance with last week's COVID-19 regulations, Danny, his family, and a small group gathered together for an intimate walk. "I made a promise that once I was doing well, I would do everything in my power to help find a cure for myeloma so that other patients don't have to live through the nightmare I have," says Danny. Julie Salsman, diagnosed at 49 years old in 2007 has been a Halifax March co-leader for 10 years. "When my myeloma became active this year, we were all in shock," Julie recalls. "It was a major blow, but I am hopeful that the advances in drug treatments will keep the cancer in check and allow me to spend precious time with my new grandson," added Julie. Erma Roung is a past caregiver, and 10-year March leader in Windsor-Essex County, Ontario. "After my husband died 10 years ago, we put together the first Myeloma March here in Windsor and ended up raising $50,000. We've raised close to $300,000 locally to date. The March brings people together to let them know they are not alone, brings awareness to the community, provides some education on the disease and raises funds towards research that will continue to extend the lives of those going through myeloma and hopefully one day, lead to a cure." Halifax and Windsor, like many other communities, held their own individual walks in their neighbourhoods on the same day and time of their regularly scheduled group March.
Multiple myeloma, also known as myeloma, is the second most common form of blood cancer. Myeloma affects a type of immune cell called the plasma cell, found in the bone marrow. Every day, nine Canadians are diagnosed, yet in spite of its growing prevalence, the disease remains relatively unknown. While there is no cure, people with myeloma are living longer and better lives, thanks to recent breakthroughs in treatment. To learn more, visit www.myeloma.ca
ABOUT MYELOMA CANADA
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the creation of Myeloma Canada, the only national charitable organization created by, and for, Canadians impacted by multiple myeloma. The organization is driven to improve the lives of those affected by myeloma by empowering the community through awareness, education and advocacy programs, and supporting clinical research to find a cure. Since its founding in 2005, Myeloma Canada has been making myeloma matter. To learn more, or to donate, please visit www.myeloma.ca. To view "15 Years of Making Myeloma Matter" - Myeloma Canada's 1st Corporate Video, click here.
For more information, please contact:
Martine Elias, Executive Director
SOURCE Multiple Myeloma Canada