COVID-19 pandemic doesn't stop Multiple Myeloma March from raising over $60,000
OTTAWA -- Glenn Hussey takes a chemo maintenance drug every day to keep his disease in partial remission.
He was diagnosed with smoldering myeloma in 2006 and it became active in 2017. Without treatment, doctors estimated he had two to five years to live.
On Sunday, the retired federal civil servant is out with his family for Ottawa’s Multiple Myeloma March. The walk raises awareness and funds to help combat the rare blood cancer that affects about one per cent of cancer patients
"I used to look 10 and 15 years out, I don’t anymore," Hussey said. "I look sort of five years out and take everything day by day. You just adapt to that new reality."
The walk normally attracts nearly 300 participants to Britannia Park, but this year organizers were forced to hold the Multiple Myeloma March virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our walk is called 'Steps To A Cure,' it’s a virtual walk," Hussey said. “So everyone is doing it in their own neighborhood, in parks and walkways across the region."
Hussey has had two stem cell transplants so far to help control his cancer and it is critical he does not contract COVID-19, but it’s more important to him to help fund research.
He knows from personal experience that the discovery of new drugs and treatments is helping people live longer.
This year’s walk started out as a success. As Hussey was getting ready to start, he learned they had surpassed their fundraising goal of $60 thousand in Ottawa.
The funds raised locally will help support myeloma research initiatives at The Ottawa Hospital.
Shortly before Hussey’s walk started on Sunday, he offered some advice for those battling cancer.
"You just keep pushing through!"