The Brant Advocate
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On Saturday, September 10, at 9:00 a.m., local Caledonia resident, Mary Cass, will be participating in the 5th annual Hamilton-Niagara Multiple Myeloma March taking place at Edgewater Pavilion. Mary herself has multiple myeloma, a little-known and incurable blood cancer, also known as myeloma.
Every day, 11 new Canadians are diagnosed with myeloma. While myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer, few people have ever heard of it. The reality is that the number of Canadians living with myeloma rises every year, underlining the urgent need for greater investment in, and access to, life-saving treatments and care.
“Every year, we’re getting closer to finding a cure,” says Martine Elias, Executive Director of Myeloma Canada. “That’s why the funds raised at the Hamilton-Niagara Multiple Myeloma March are so critical. They’ll help to keep myeloma research moving forward and to improve the lives of Canadians impacted by this devastating disease.”
Mary and her fellow Marchers have set a fundraising goal of $60,000 to help further critical research for this deadly blood cancer.
For more information about the March, click here.
You’ll find below a news release with Mary’s story and more details about the Hamilton-Niagara Multiple Myeloma March, and two pictures of Mary.
To schedule an interview with Mary Cass or a representative from Myeloma Canada, please contact Virginie at : 514-802-9093 or by email at : firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 1st, at 9:00 a.m., eager to give back to her community and do her part to help find a cure for myeloma, Tania Bertrand, along with family and friends, is gearing up to raise awareness and funds at The 1st annual Brampton Multiple Myeloma March taking place at Loafer’s Lake Recreation Centre. The Brampton March has set its financial goal at $15,000.
Dedicated mother diagnosed with Incurable blood cancer marches for her life at the first-ever Brampton multiple myeloma march
Myeloma is the 2nd most common form of blood cancer. Yet it may take months or years to get diagnosed.
(Brampton, Ontario) September 14, 2023 — Tania Bertrand, a loving and dedicated mother of two adult children, Anthony, 32, and Brittany, 24, has always embraced a fast-paced and active lifestyle. However, in 2011, her life took an unexpected turn when she began experiencing severe back pain after a new kickboxing routine. Tania initially chalked the pain up to a strained muscle, but when it became so debilitating that she couldn’t walk, Tania took herself to her local emergency department. Little did she know that she would soon be diagnosed with multiple myeloma, or myeloma, a little-known and as-of-yet incurable blood cancer that 11 Canadians are diagnosed with every day.
After her initial hospital visit, Tania was prescribed painkillers and told to rest. Despite listening to the doctor’s advice, her pain quickly worsened. Within days, she lost 15 pounds, leaving her weak and listless. Reflecting on her experience, Tania says, “Just when I thought my pain couldn’t get any worse, it managed to surprise me. I knew something very serious was wrong when basic movements became a major challenge. I even resorted to sleeping in a chair,” recalls Tania. Desperate for an answer, Tania returned to the hospital and underwent a battery of tests, including a spinal biopsy. Shortly after, she received the devastating news: Tania had myeloma. She was just 41 years old.
“I was terrified, I didn’t know what multiple myeloma was. I remember feeling so hopeless,” Tania confesses. Like many people, she had never heard of myeloma, despite it being the second most common form of blood cancer. “I began to feel even more overwhelmed when doctors told me that my kidneys were failing. If my daughter Brittany hadn’t begged me to go back to the hospital that day, I would have waited, and I wouldn’t be standing here today,” Tania acknowledges.
In August 2011, Tania began her battle to beat her myeloma. She began with radiation treatments for a few months before undergoing extensive chemotherapy in preparation for a stem cell transplant, a procedure often effective in controlling myeloma. Tania was able to have the procedure in March 2012 and was ecstatic to find out that it was a success. Her condition was finally stable. Eleven years later, Tania, now 53, is thrilled to be in remission. She has been free of taking medication for the past two years.
Although Tania and her family have had to adjust to a life with myeloma, she is extremely thankful to be alive. “I have a very positive outlook on life; I appreciate the little things. I enjoy life and want to live it to the fullest,” she says. “I know that I will eventually relapse. I must be confident that there will be treatment options available to me when that time comes,” Tania adds.
Tania is also thankful to be strong enough to enjoy her favorite activities, including traveling to exotic countries with her daughter. Since recovering from her stem cell transplant, Tania has explored mountains in Mexico, snorkeled in Cuba, fed sharks and stingrays in Curacao, walked across a hand bridge in Vietnam, and hiked in South Korea.
Eager to give back to her community and do her part to help find a cure for myeloma, Tania, along with family and friends, is gearing up to raise awareness and funds at the 1st annual Brampton Multiple Myeloma March taking place on October 1, 2023, at 9 a.m., beginning at Loafer’s Lake Recreation Centre.
“Many people have never heard of myeloma. I want to raise awareness about this terrible disease so that others know the warning signs, and get diagnosed early,” says Tania ardently. “The last thing I want is for other families to experience the pain that ours went through,” she adds.
All things being equal, Tania is lucky. Although it took several months before she received her myeloma diagnosis, Tania was finally able to start the critical treatments she needed to live as long and full a life as possible. Not everyone is as fortunate. A myeloma diagnosis can take anywhere from months to even years. The disease often goes undetected because signs and symptoms are often vague and as diverse as the people who have it. Sadly, delays in diagnosis can lead to poorer prognosis and additional complications that negatively impact quality of life and survival.
“Raising awareness and funds for myeloma is critical so that we can stay ahead of the disease with new treatment therapies that will help people live longer with a better quality of life,” says Martine Elias, Executive Director of Myeloma Canada. “That’s why events like the Brampton Multiple Myeloma March are so crucial. The more people who know about this complicated disease, the earlier they may be diagnosed and treated, for better outcomes. The March raises awareness and vital funds to improve the lives of Canadians impacted by myeloma and move us closer to a cure.”
The Multiple Myeloma March raises funds to cure and prevent myeloma through investments in Canadian research, accelerate equitable access to the best healthcare and treatments, and improve lives by empowering and supporting all Canadians affected by this devastating disease.
The Brampton Multiple Myeloma March is one of 40 communities across the country participating in Myeloma Canada’s 15th annual nation-wide event. For Canadians not located near a physical March or who wish to participate on their own, there is also a virtual March option. The Brampton event has set their financial goal at $15,000. Myeloma Canada’s national Multiple Myeloma March objective is to raise $750,000. For more information, visit myelomamarch.ca.
Multiple myeloma, also known as myeloma, is the second most common form of blood cancer. Myeloma affects a type of immune cell called the plasma cell, found in the bone marrow. While there is currently no cure, people with myeloma are living longer and better lives, thanks to recent breakthroughs in treatment. To find a cure, more funding and research are required.
About Myeloma Canada
Myeloma Canada is the only national charitable organization created by, and for, Canadians impacted by multiple myeloma. The organization is driven to improve the lives of those affected by myeloma by empowering the community through awareness, education, and advocacy programs, and supporting research to find a cure. Myeloma Canada has been making myeloma matter since its founding in 2005.
To learn more, or to donate, please visit http://www.myeloma.ca.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact: Francine Ducas at email@example.com or by phone at (514) 346-9971.
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