THUNDER BAY – Dozens of residents met at the Tai Chi Park in Marina Park on Sunday to march to raise awareness and funds for multiple myeloma.
The 7th annual Thunder Bay Multiple Myeloma March saw a decent turnout of marchers its first weekend who wish to bring awareness to multiple myeloma, or myeloma, a little-known and currently incurable blood cancer that 11 Canadians are diagnosed with every day.
“Multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer. It's a cancer that affects the plasma cells that are found in the bone marrow. So it's a cancer that affects the immune system,” said Michelle Oana Director of Development and community relations.
“And it commonly presents with bone pain or anemia. Sometimes there's a lot of fatigue or kidney issues, so the symptoms can be vague. But more and more, when we recognize the symptoms through bone pains.”
Diagnosing myeloma may take months or even years. As such, this incurable blood cancer often goes undetected because its signs and symptoms are often as vague and diverse as the people who have it.
“Raising awareness and funds for myeloma is critical so that people are diagnosed sooner. No one should have to wait weeks or months,” said Martine Elias, Executive Director of Myeloma Canada.
“This has to change. That’s why events like the Thunder Bay 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.”
Myeloma Canada’s annual Multiple Myeloma March aims to raise critical 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.
“To date, unfortunately there is no cure yet is what we call a chronic illness. But incredible advances have been made over the last five years, and where we're going in the next five years is going to be absolutely pivotal,” said Oana.
“So we're getting really close or much, much closer than we were just a few short years ago, but we're still not quite there yet, and so events like these really help us to raise funds to be able to fuel that research and that innovation so we can get to that finish line real quick.
The Thunder Bay event set their financial goal at $5,000. Myeloma Canada’s national Multiple Myeloma March objective is to raise $750,000. For more information, or to donate, visit myelomamarch.ca.