Sally Crate knew about multiple myeloma before she was diagnosed: her father died of a rare blood-borne cancer.
In October 2008, he underwent a stem cell transplant, one of the known treatments for the disease.
There is no known cure.
The experience, he explained, was quick and easy. He left the next day on his way home.
“So it was like a rebirth,” he said.
Dorchester, Ontario. The fundraising walk for myeloma research returns for the thirteenth year.
Now Crate spends some of his time raising money to find a cure for multiple myeloma. On Sunday, Crate helped with the cargo stand and participated in the five-kilometer walk that began at the Port of Saint John and traversed part of the Port Passage.
The goal of the walk was to raise $ 10,000 for the cure, and before the event began, the group had already raised $ 8,700.
The march went virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year he returned in person. The participants wore red, with red daisies and even some red shoes.
The top fundraising goal this year is $ 600,000 nationwide, according to the website organizing the march. Saint John and Moncton each have a march in the province, and another in Halifax.
How Multiple Myeloma Works
There are plasma cells that are mainly found in the bone marrow. Sometimes those plasma cells in the bone marrow change and stop behaving normally. Then they multiply and produce more abnormal cells.
“These abnormal plasma cells start dividing uncontrollably and produce more abnormal plasma cells. These changes can lead to multiple myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cells) or a precancerous condition called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), ”according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Saskatoon Multiple Myeloma March Raises Over $ 21,000 for Research
The Canadian Cancer Society adds, “Multiple myeloma develops when there is an accumulation of many abnormal plasma cells (called myeloma cells) in the bone marrow. This makes it difficult for other blood cells in the bone marrow to develop and function normally. “
It can cause symptoms such as fatigue and can upset the balance of certain minerals in the body. It can cause bone damage and high levels of calcium in the blood and produce multiple proteins that affect organs such as the kidneys.
Crate said the most important thing for her is to stay positive. Now in remission, he says he takes every day as a miracle.
“I’m healthy,” she said. “It has been a journey of just living every day … I write in my journal every day and try to stay positive.”
She said bad days come, but she always tries to turn things around, and that’s the advice she would give anyone instead.
A little ray of sunshine is also his first grandson, he added.
“We find joy in many things,” he said. “Probably don’t take life for granted and try to live every moment.”
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