Frank (Fenix) Theuerkorn, a multiple myeloma survivor, will be among those taking part in the Multiple Myeloma March on Sept. 7. Pictured here, Theuerkorn, front, and daughter Nikki at the inaugural march in March 2018. (Submitted photo)

Frank (Fenix) Theuerkorn, a multiple myeloma survivor, will be among those taking part in the Multiple Myeloma March on Sept. 7. Pictured here, Theuerkorn, front, and daughter Nikki at the inaugural march in March 2018. (Submitted photo)

Nanaimo professor raising awareness about rare blood cancer

Socially distanced Vancouver Island Multiple Myeloma March to take place on Labour Day

A Vancouver Island University professor will be among those marching to raise awareness – and money for research – for an incurable form of blood cancer.

Multiple myeloma is “a little-known cancer of the plasma cells,” according to a press release. The Multiple Myeloma March is set take place on Sept. 7 and Frank (Fenix) Theuerkorn, a VIU professor in the management department, will be taking part to help others who have been diagnosed.

After suffering severe, debilitating pain in his ribs and a year of testing, Theuerkorn was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2017, stated the press release. The 54-year-old said he had mixed emotions after being diagnosed. On one hand, he felt relief as he finally knew what was ailing him and on the other hand, he was upset.

Following extensive chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, Theuerkorn learned that that transplant was successful and he was in remission. He resumed teaching that same year, saying he didn’t want to lose connection with his students and that teaching gave him a sense of purpose.

Theuerkorn experienced some health-related anxiety this past February when vacationing on Palawan Island in the Philippines. The government there closed the borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Theuerkorn was stranded for three months and worried, as he had not brought enough medication. Fortunately he was able to return home in May.

Theuerkorn has first-hand knowledge of how advancements in myeloma research can have “life-changing impact” on the lives of those living with the form of incurable cancer, and now, more than ever, he and his family are intent on raising awareness, said the press release. He also hopes to help others receive faster diagnoses and provide inspiration for people living with the disease.

RELATED: Blood cancer survival rate rising fastest, Canadian stats find

RELATED: B.C. couple that raised 58 kids, seeks help amid cancer diagnosis

This year’s Vancouver Island Multiple Myeloma March, originally scheduled for March, will adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and will see participants walking in their own neighbourhoods, with registration on Zoom beginning at 9 a.m. on Sept. 7.

Organizers hope to raise $35,000 and a minimum of 50 per cent of money raised will go to Myeloma Canada’s Myeloma Research Priority Setting Partnership, said the press release.

For more information, click here or go to www.myelomacanada.ca.


More from the News Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter

fundraising

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
RDN Transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Peter Crema and Harmony Gray (from left), past participants of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Code Switching teen art group, at work in ArtLab in 2019. The NAG will be expanding the space thanks to a $75,000 arts infrastructure program grant. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre receive new arts infrastructure funding

Province announces recipients of funding through B.C. Arts Council program

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help Nanaimo’s new baseball team look picture-perfect

NightOwls announce partnership with Angela Waldick of Nightengales Photography

Emergency crews were called to a crash involving a hatchback and a taxi minivan at the intersection of Fitzwilliam, Pine and Third streets on Friday afternoon. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver hurt as taxi and hatchback crash in Nanaimo

Collision happened Friday at intersection of Fitzwilliam, Pine and Third streets

A person experiencing homelessness in downtown Nanaimo last week. (News Bulletin photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Change approach to combatting homelessness

Letter writers express frustration with status quo

Emergency crews were called to a crash involving a hatchback and a taxi minivan at the intersection of Fitzwilliam, Pine and Third streets on Friday afternoon. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver hurt as taxi and hatchback crash in Nanaimo

Collision happened Friday at intersection of Fitzwilliam, Pine and Third streets

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo councillors like new sustainable buying policy

Finance and audit committee recommends council approve new procurement policy

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

FOI records provided to the News Bulletin from the City of Nanaimo in 2018. (News Bulletin file photo)
Samra’s numerous FOI requests to City of Nanaimo aren’t ‘vexatious,’ privacy commissioner decides

Former CAO says records will assist her in a future B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Most Read