Ron Surry is a myeloma survivor and the organizer of the Multiple Myeloma March, which takes place Saturday, Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. at Riverside RV Park in Enderby. (Photo submitted)

Okanagan town making strides for multiple myeloma

Ron Surry is an active hunter and fisherman who used to enjoy quadding and boating.

Ron Surry is an active hunter and fisherman who used to enjoy quadding and boating.

In February 2014, while sitting down in a restaurant, he broke eight ribs simultaneously. After being rushed to the hospital and undergoing an X-ray and bone marrow biopsy, he learned that he had multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the plasma cells, which had caused his bones to deteriorate.

“When my bones broke, it felt like an explosion had gone off inside my body,” Ron says. “Before my diagnosis, I had slowly started getting tired, which made me wonder if something was wrong, but learning I had myeloma was a complete shock.”

Thanks to a stem cell transplant, Ron has been in remission for the last four years, and now wants to help other patients by raising awareness of multiple myeloma. Ron’s resolve led him to start the Enderby Multiple Myeloma March. This year, he will lead the third edition on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 1 p.m., at Riverside RV Park.

The Multiple Myeloma March increases awareness and raises funds for clinical research and supports advocacy for accelerated access to new therapies for Canadians living with myeloma. The five-kilometre walk/run has helped support Canadian clinical trial research that has the potential to be practice-changing and shape the Canadian treatment landscape. Over the last decade, the average life expectancy of a myeloma patient has doubled, with many now living 10 years or longer thanks to unprecedented advances in research and the development of new treatment options.

“The Multiple Myeloma March is critical for raising funds for clinical research that give myeloma patients access to new treatments that have been proven to make a difference in patient outcomes,” says Dr. Greg Dueck, Principal Investigator, BC Cancer Agency Centre for the Southern Interior.

Ron hopes this year’s Multiple Myeloma March will contribute to further improving patient outcomes. “Myeloma is treatable now, it’s not a death sentence anymore,” he says. “There will be a time coming in the future when it’s not just treatable, but curable.”

Enderby is one of 23 communities across the country that will be participating in the Multiple Myeloma March. The financial goal this year for Enderby is $5,000.

About the Multiple Myeloma March

The Multiple Myeloma March is the signature fundraiser of Myeloma Canada. The 2018 edition will mark the 10th anniversary of its inception and will include a record 23 communities participating in the walk. The national fundraising goal has been set at $550,000. For a complete list of communities hosting a Multiple Myeloma March, visit myelomamarch.ca.

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma, commonly referred to as myeloma, is a cancer of the plasma cells found in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are a type of immune cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. Although myeloma is generally referred to as a blood cancer, it is more specifically cancer affecting the immune system. The cause or causes of myeloma remain unknown.

Every day, eight Canadians are diagnosed with myeloma, with the average age of diagnosis in the mid-sixties. Despite a growing prevalence, it remains relatively unknown. With the aging population and new and better treatments, the number of patients living with the disease will continue to increase.

About Myeloma Canada

Myeloma Canada is a non-profit, charitable organization created by, and for people impacted by multiple myeloma, a relatively unknown cancer of the plasma cells. Exclusively devoted to the Canadian myeloma community, Myeloma Canada has been making myeloma matter since 2005.

As a patient-driven, patient-focused grassroots organization, Myeloma Canada drives collaborative efforts to unify the voice of the community to effectively shape the Canadian treatment landscape with a committed focus on the improvement of patient outcomes.

For more information about Myeloma Canada, visit, myeloma.ca

Just Posted

Real estate sales forecast slow across Okanagan

More housing sellers than buyers predicts CMHC analysis

Warriors come out on top over Vees in first of home-and-home series

West Kelowna Warriors defeated the Penticton Vees, rematch tonight

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Sagmoen in court for bail decision

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will be in Vernon Law Courts at 9:30 a.m.

Rockets look to bounce back with win against Prince George

Rockets look for 9th win of the season after back to back losses

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Vernon Vipers, West Kelowna Warriors swap players

Matt Kowalski joins Vernon from West Kelowna Warriors in BCHL deal for D Austin Chorney

Vancouver Island man survived for ‘days’ trapped in smashed truck

Duncan Moffat, 23, found by hunter by the side of the road near Sayward

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

It’s a wrap for Okanagan actress/director Madeline Wahl

Madeline Wahl who grew up in Naramata and now lives in Vancouver shot a film in Penticton recently

PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

Most Read