For Martensville resident Ray Wilgenbusch, the diagnosis came six years ago, in 2014. Since then, he’s been helping to raise money for research and awareness of the cancer, while also helping to organize the Saskatoon Multiple Myeloma March, which has now gone on for three years.
This year, the Saskatoon march raised over $21,000 to go towards research.
Over his six-year battle with myeloma, Wilgenbusch has seen the research and treatment improve.
One of the biggest areas of improvement has come in lifespan following diagnosis, which has tripled from the former, two-to-five-year mark.
“There has been quite a few new, I’ll call them cocktails or meds, that have come out, and they are giving multiple myeloma patients a lot better quality of life, and longer life after diagnosis,” Wilgenbusch said.
He not only partakes in the march to raise money for research, but also wants to bring awareness to the cancer, especially the symptoms, which include, fatigue, bone pain and kidney failure.
“Be your own advocate — go see a doctor,” Wilgenbusch said. “If you’ve got a lot of bone pain, you’re having trouble walking, just have a possibility checked out.”
Wilgenbusch and Myeloma Canada hope that one day, through continued research, multiple myeloma is categorized as a chronic disease as opposed to an incurable cancer.