Home > Meet Past MMRF Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma Athletes
Meet Past MMRF Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma Athletes
Ashley Dobbs – Living with Myeloma Colorado Trek
After a routine doctor appointment in September 2019, my life was forever changed – I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, The doctors and myself were in disbelief as very few patients are diagnosed at such a young age. I was young, healthy, and lived a very active lifestyle. This news was devastating to my family and me.
Almost two years later, I can now say that I have reached MRD-negative status after completing my stem cell transplant last May during the pandemic. I’m currently completing my final rounds of maintenance therapy and feel grateful that I will be wrapping up at the end of the year. I’m beyond thankful for my amazing support system with my family and friends by my side. I’ve been able to push through the only way I know how and that’s by staying positive, living my active lifestyle, and doing what I love most, spending time with my family.
I participated in the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program trekking Colorado in September 2022 to raise funds and awareness for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). I found out about this program from my husband as he signed me up when I was first diagnosed. He knew my love for the outdoors and thought this would be a great way for me and our family to bring awareness to Multiple Myeloma. I’m was so excited to be part of this program and looked forward to conquering these mountains with our entire team.
Cesar Rodriguez, MD – Myeloma Doctor Iceland and Patagonia Treks
For the past seven years, I have been dedicated to doing research and treating patients with myeloma. Even though studies have provided us with new treatment options that are allowing patients to live longer, the truth is that we have not found a cure. It is through the day-to-day interactions with patients that I learn the most on how therapies could be tailored to provide the best quality of life, but I have learned the most about living with this cancer after hiking a volcano in Iceland with five patients. The knowledge I have gained through their wins, their battles, and their losses far exceeds what can be taught in a class and pushes me to try harder, to enjoy life’s moments, and to accept our limitations.
Exploring new treatment concepts and discovering new therapies require extensive research, time and funding. It is with the help of organizations, drug companies and government funding that research opportunities arise to break boundaries and generate hope where there was none left. Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma is a great campaign to raise awareness on the achievements obtained from research, from challenging ourselves to bigger things, and to strive to overcome obstacles.
My first climb with this organizations sparked many research ideas, raised more than our goal for research funds and, most importantly, made a bond with a group of people I now consider family. Unfortunately, it often is more than one mountain that patients need to be climb while on treatment because of relapse or complications, so I will continue to climb mountains and shine a spotlight on them. I do hikes in honor of my patients who are going through their journey, those who have touched many lives, those who courageously have participated in clinical trials, and in memory of my dear aunt.
Donna (patient) and Bud (caregiver) Cowan Grand Canyon Trek
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