Patients, caregivers, family members and friends will come together to raise awareness and funds for the first edition of the Enderby Multiple Myeloma March, part of Myeloma Canada’s national signature fundraising event, the Multiple Myeloma March.
Enderby will kick off its first community march this Saturday at the Lion’s Club Gazebo at 1 p.m.
“On behalf of the multiple myeloma community, we are extremely grateful to the thousands of individuals in Enderby and in communities across the country who are making a difference in the lives of myeloma patients,” said Aldo Del Col, co-founder and chairman of Myeloma Canada.
Multiple myeloma (commonly referred to as myeloma) is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of cell found in the bone marrow.
An important beneficiary of this year’s march will be the Myeloma Canada Research Network (MCRN) — a unique, patient-focused, collaborative research group working in nine provinces.
Vancouver General Hospital the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Surrey, and the Kelowna General Hospital are three of the 21 centres participating in MCRN across Canada.
“With a new generation of drugs being approved at unprecedented speed, there is increased hope for patients who, to date, have had a very limited choice of therapies,” said Dr. Heather Sutherland, principal investigator, Vancouver General Hospital.
“The patient-based clinical research we are doing in British Columbia, in collaboration with other Canadian and international experts, will help us to find how best to use these new treatments in the clinic and improve patient outcomes. Through MCRN, we are expanding clinical research activity, bringing more clinical trials to more patients in more places across Canada.”
The first Multiple Myeloma Marches in British Columbia will take place in Kelowna and Enderby. Kelowna hosted their March on Sunday, Sept. 11, raising a total of $5,645.
Headed by Ron Surry, his family and friends, the Enderby community aims to raise $10,000.
“Many myeloma patients, like me, have mobility problems. If I could manage these problems by walking five-kilometres, maybe others could, too,” said Surry, an 18-month myeloma survivor and the Enderby and Kelowna Multiple Myeloma March coordinator.
“Advocating for better access to new drugs is my way of encouraging multiple myeloma patients to remain hopeful and optimistic. Increased treatment options would create more stepping stones for patients to walk on and extend our lives with a better quality of life.”
Individuals may register, donate or participate at www.myelomamarch.ca.