Search This Blog

Sunday, April 26, 2015

MMRF 5K Walk/Run

In my last post, I talked about the Boston MMRF Race for Research which happened today.  We got up this morning earlier than I like to get to South Boston in time for the race.  What an experience!  Over 2,000 runners and walkers set out on this picturesque harbor-side course to support this worthy cause.

Although it was chilly, the weather was great for the race.  Our friend, Anne Riskin, lost her husband, Jeff, to MM a few years ago.  She and her family started Jeff's Juggernauts as a fundraiser for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) after his diagnosis.  Jeff's Juggernauts did a really terrific job in fundraising this year, bringing in over $19,000 for MM research!    They are actually one of the most successful fundraising teams in the entire event.

Doing my job
I didn't do the walk, but I have a valid excuse.  I was honored to be assigned to the prestigious duty of holding one end of the finish line tape.  Anne Riskin held the other end.  If I had actually run (yeah right!) or walked in this event, I would not have been available for this important task, for which I think I was eminently qualified.  Things have a way of working out.  ;-)

There are 9 of these MMRF fundraising races held across the country, but the one in Boston is the largest and most successful.  All of the funds raised from this event go specifically into research to find a cure for Multiple Myeloma.  That makes this a particularly important cause for me.

Susan Riskin finishing the 5K
It was really special to be there today.  We watched people of all stripes, athletes and non-athletes, young and old, able and disabled, patients and caregivers, all there for a common purpose:  Let's just beat the hell out of this disease!

It was a pleasure to meet Anne Riskin's daughters today, Karen and Susan, along with the rest of her family and friends.  Susan, who is a marathoner (New York, Boston, et al) ran today.  Here is a picture of her finishing for Jeff's Juggernauts in honor of her father.

After the race, we went back to Anne's house for a brunch, where we got to know their family and friends better.  I'm really psyched to get involved in this next year.  Many years ago, I would have been delighted to enter the race as a runner, but I don't see a running future in my cards.  However, maybe I could do a fast walk.  I want to do all I can to raise awareness of this insidious disease and help fund the research necessary to find a cure.
Paul and me

Dr. Richardson has long been a big supporter and participant in this event, and he was there again today.  I heard that he took the red-eye back from California last night to be here in time to participate.  He spoke to the crowd before the race, but unfortunately, we didn't get there until afterwards.

However, I did have a chance to speak with Paul.  He was really pleased with how well I am doing, and I told him I was about ready to finish my clinical trial including 3 years of Revlimid maintenance and then go off the Rev, which was the original plan.  But Paul said that we need to talk about this, because recent data have shown that continuing maintenance with Rev is better than stopping it.  OK now! That's news.  Maybe Gretchen is right, as she has been concerned about my going off the Rev.

From my previous research, the thought was that continuing Rev maintenance too long might result in one's becoming refractory to it, so it might not work any more if relapse occurred.  Maybe the current thinking has to do with the fact that an alternative IMID, Pomalyst, is now available in case one becomes refractory to Rev. I'm just speculating here.  Anyway, I will be having this conversation with Paul over the next couple of months to see what's next.  I'm anxious to find out what their research is showing and what might be my options.  I'm really looking forward to talking to Paul about all of this soon.



1 comment:

  1. Hi Bill, I'm Lindsey! I have a question and would love to speak with you about your medical journey. Could you please email me when you have a chance? I'd really appreciate it, thanks so much. Looking forward to hearing from you! lindseyDOTcaldwellATrecallcenterDOTcom