Research for an incurable blood cancer got a boost from Nanaimo, as fundraising walk participants surpassed a target goal, raising close to $22,000 earlier this week.
Organizers sought to raise $20,000 going into the Vancouver Island Multiple Myeloma March on Sept. 6, but thanks to community efforts, a total of $21,911 was collected in the five-kilometre walking/running event at Nanaimo Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park, said a press release.
Multiple myeloma affects plasma cells in bone marrow. There is no cure, but people afflicted with myeloma can live longer thanks to recent breakthroughs in treatment, said the press release. However, more money for research is needed, the release said.
Among participants were Debbie Graves and her Bad to the Bone team. Graves, a mother of three, was diagnosed with the disease in December 2018 after months of tests, according to the press release. The cancer had progressed significantly at the time of the diagnosis, but thanks to a newly approved drug, Graves’s condition began improving.
“It’s a horrible type of cancer, and there isn’t one treatment that works for everybody,” Graves said in the press release. “It’s one of those diseases that finds a way to work around the drugs, so there needs to be a variety of treatment options available for patients.”
Martine Elias, Myeloma Canada executive director, said the money is needed as researchers “are getting closer to reaching a cure than ever before.”
“Now is an exciting and encouraging time in myeloma research,” Elias said in the press release. “There are many new clinical advances being made to help improve the quality and length of life of those living with this disease. That’s why it’s crucial that we continue to raise funds for research, so that sooner than later, a cure for myeloma will be found.”
Nanaimo was one of 32 Canadian communities holding a march.