The Research Grant Award Reception last night was very inspirational and enlightening. I loved hearing each of the patients tell their own personal stories about their initial diagnosis and how they live with multiple myeloma. As a patient myself, I know how lost and alone you can feel with the initial diagnosis. Each one of their stories resonated with me and taught me something special. I could actually visualize Linda Huguelet and her husband completing their dream home on a lake. Carolyn Higgins story about smiling and enjoying her grandchildren touched me deeply, as I just became a grandmother this July. Don Clayton and his wife traveling across the beautiful US of A in their Land Rover. And Nick Menedis’ comforting and reassuring, making newly diagnosed myeloma patients not just smile but laugh. All of their stories are proof that there is a life after being diagnosed with myeloma. A life that we must truly enjoy and live to the fullest.
I really liked how the Senior and Junior Grant winners were also able to hear the patients’ stories. One of the Junior Grant Winners Vijay Ramakrishna, Ph.D., said something very humbling, that “Hearing the patient’s stories has given him even more determination.” I want to believe all of the recipients felt the same way. From hearing the patient testimonies to seeing the grant recipients it was a very insightful experience. Myeloma has and is coming a long way thanks to the determination of patients, doctors, advocates, and researchers alike.
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The Upland CA Multiple Myeloma Support Group