Kingstonians marched Sunday to raise awareness and funds to fight a little known form of blood cancer, multiple myeloma, a disease that attacks and kills bone marrow in the body.
About 50 people showed up to support the very first edition of the Kingston Multiple Myeloma March, at Newlands Pavilion in Kingston, Ont.
“I’m in remission,” says Claudia Trost, a 58-year-old survivor of multiple myeloma.
“Multiple myeloma is a black cancer and it is not curable, but it’s treatable,” Trost added.
As part of her cancer treatment, in October 2018, Trost was infused with her own stem cells removed from her blood, prior to several rounds of chemotherapy.
When her stem cells were reintroduced into her blood, the cells grew, helping the patient to recover, protecting the bone marrow.
That treatment extended the life of the patient.
“With the stem-cell transplant, they are talking about five years,” says Trost of her expected life span before her next transplant. “But I met, at an international conference, so many people — some 10-, 15-, 20-years in remission.”
“So we really don’t know, we just hope as long as possible.”
Every day, eight Canadians are diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and in spite of the growing prevalence of the disease, it remains relatively unknown.
With the support of Myeloma Canada and participants from both the Kingston and the Prince Edward County support groups, this “march of awareness” and fundraiser is one of 28 communities across the country participating this month.
“Today we are raising money as well for research, and we see in the last (few) years, many more medications came on the market, which increased our quality of life and extended our life as well,” Trost said.
The first Kingston Multiple Myeloma March raised close to $10,000.