In 2015, at the age of 43, I was a father, husband, an endurance athlete and I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Myeloma is a blood cancer currently with no cure. PET scans found multiple lesions (holes) in my bones and 2 compression fractures in my spine. During the first 7 months after diagnosis, I underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant to keep the cancer at bay. During 2015, I could no longer run, but I found the swimming pool to ease my mind, strengthen my body, to manage pain, and to ensure that I was still living. A month after the transplant, I started walking and incrementally increased the daily time I spent on my feet. By the beginning of 2016, I was slowly jogging. By the end of 2016, I had run 16 road races, including 4 half marathons, and an 18 mile point-to-point trail race. I wasn't cured, I still had holes in my bones, pain and fatigue, but I was living. In 2017, I formed Throwing Bones for a Cure, a 501(c)3 non-profit to encourage myeloma patients to stay healthy and active through treatment. Through, events, activities, social media, and speaking engagements. As a patient, myself, I set the example and a tone of moving forward in spite of physical and emotional obstacles. The fears are real, but they can be overcome. From April 1 to May 24, 2018, I ran 1,200 miles from Jockey's Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Clingman's Dome on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. I averaged 23 miles per day for the entire trip. For the last 24 days, I averaged nearly 30 miles a day. Along the way, I met, encouraged and sometimes even inspired myeloma patients, those suffering chronic illnesses, and just those who needed the motivation to keep moving. We adopted the hashtag #keepmovingforward to remind everyone life always changes but it doesn't have to stop, and we can control that. Today I am the Executive Director for Throwing Bones, a fitness and endurance coach, and a patient advocate for Multiple Myeloma patients.
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I’m a Patient Leader