Karine and Véronique Bleau Lead Multiple Myeloma March in Memory of Their Father
The 9th edition of the Montreal Multiple Myeloma March, Myeloma Canada’s signature fundraiser, will be held on Sunday, September 17 at John Abbott College. Sisters Véronique and Karine Bleau will lead the 5 km walk/run in memory of their father who lost his battle to multiple myeloma, an incurable form of cancer affecting the plasma cells in the bone marrow.
Mr. Bleau was diagnosed with an advanced stage of myeloma in 2009 following a consultation for back pain he experienced due to a collapsed vertebra. He was then hospitalized and underwent chemotherapy immediately though more could have been done if the disease had been detected sooner.
“When our father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma we were at a loss. None of us had ever heard of the disease,” recalls Karine. “It could have been diagnosed much earlier, but this type of cancer was – and still is – relatively unknown. Even physicians only knew about it broadly.”
The Bleau family sought support and information about the disease after the diagnosis, and turned to Myeloma Canada, a non-profit charitable organization created by, and for people living with multiple myeloma. Since last year, Myeloma Canada has dedicated funds raised through its Multiple Myeloma March to the Myeloma Canada Research Network (MCRN)—a platform which brings together world-class myeloma researchers in 24 centres across nine provinces. The MCRN develops and supports Canadian-designed clinical trials nationwide, and collects data for its innovative national database.
“The MCRN, which was born out of a patient organization, has become indispensable to doing good quality research that is not primarily industry-driven,” says Dr Michael Sebag, Principal Investigator, McGill University’s Health Centre. “Patients living with multiple myeloma often go through multiple standard therapies, which is why offering accelerated access to innovative; and, in some cases, breakthrough, treatment options not currently reimbursed by any public health plan in Canada is so crucial.”
Every day, seven Canadians are diagnosed with multiple myeloma with an average diagnosis in the mid-sixties. “Despite a growing prevalence, myeloma remains relatively unknown,” says Aldo Del Col, Co-founder and Chairman, Myeloma Canada. “This is why there is an even greater need for early awareness programs to promote timely diagnosis.”
The Multiple Myeloma March will be held during the month of September in 17 communities across the country.
“We did our first March in 2012 because we wanted to honour our father and help others,” said Véronique. “His diagnosis broke our hearts but it felt good to be part of this and to walk among others that are going through the same thing. Our father was proud to walk with us every year. It gave him hope. It gave us hope.”
Join Karine and Véronique at the 9th annual Montreal Multiple Myeloma March on Sunday, September 17, at 10 a.m. at the John Abbott College (Main Entrance-Herzberg Building, Agora Hall, 21275 Lakeshore). The organizers have set the fundraising goal at $150,000 for 2017.
About Myeloma Canada
Myeloma Canada is a non-profit, charitable organization created by, and for people living with multiple myeloma, a relatively unknown cancer of the plasma cells. Exclusively devoted to the Canadian myeloma community, they have been making myeloma matter since 2005.
As a patient-driven, patient-focused grassroots organization, Myeloma Canada is dedicated to accelerating access to game-changing therapies for Canadians living with myeloma. Myeloma Canada drives collaborative efforts to unify the voice of the community to effectively shape the Canadian treatment landscape by improving patient outcomes at an unprecedented pace.
Empowerment of patients and caregivers through educational programs advances the understanding, treatment and management of the disease; moreover, early awareness programs promote timely diagnosis.
The Myeloma Canada Research Network (MCRN) is the first and only platform that fuses national scientific research and advocacy. The MCRN develops and supports Canadian-designed clinical trials nationwide, and collects data for its innovative national database, a key stepping stone in our search for a cure.
Myeloma Canada ensures the patient voice is heard by actively engaging the community to take action at all levels, from clinical trial design to patient care. For more information about how Myeloma Canada is putting myeloma on the map please visit: myeloma.ca.