Myeloma survivor Ron Surry raising awareness for the incurable blood cancer. -Image: Contributed

Kelowna march to raise awareness of myeloma

Ron Surry will lead the 5km run/walk fundraiser on Sept. 10

The 2nd edition of the Kelowna Multiple Myeloma March, Myeloma Canada’s signature fundraiser, will be held on Sunday, September 10 at Kerry Park.

Myeloma survivor Ron Surry will lead the 5 km walk/run which raises funds and awareness about multiple myeloma, an incurable form of cancer affecting the plasma cells in the bone marrow.

When Ron Surry was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2014, he sprung into action. “People didn’t know what multiple myeloma was — they thought it was skin cancer when it is actually blood cancer,” he recalls. “I wanted to raise awareness in my community.”

Now a three-year survivor, Ron started support groups for patients, caregivers, and their families in Kelowna and Enderby. He also spearheaded the province’s first two Multiple Myeloma Marches in 2016. Myeloma Canada, a non-profit charitable organization created by, and for people living with multiple myeloma.

Since last year, Myeloma Canada has dedicated funds raised through its Multiple Myeloma March to the Myeloma Canada Research Network (MCRN)—a platform which brings together world-class myeloma researchers in 24 centres across nine provinces. The MCRN develops and supports Canadian-designed clinical trials nationwide, and collects data for its innovative national database.

“The MCRN, which was born out of a patient organization, has become indispensable to doing good quality research that is not primarily industry-driven,” says Dr. Greg Dueck, Principal Investigator, BC Cancer Agency for the Southern Interior. “Patients living with multiple myeloma often go through multiple standard therapies, which is why offering accelerated access to innovative; and, in some cases, breakthrough, treatment options not currently reimbursed by any public health plan in Canada is so crucial.”

Every day, seven Canadians are diagnosed with multiple myeloma with an average diagnosis in the mid-sixties. “Despite a growing prevalence, myeloma remains relatively unknown,” says Aldo Del Col, Co-founder and Chairman, Myeloma Canada. “This is why there is an even greater need for early awareness programs to promote timely diagnosis.”

The Multiple Myeloma March will be held during the month of September in 17 communities across the country. Despite his own mobility issues caused by the disease, Ron is excited to lead the March for a second year. “Some patients become housebound because of multiple myeloma,” explains Ron. “A march is the perfect occasion to get out there. It brings us together, like a family.”

Join Ron at the 2nd Annual Kelowna Multiple Myeloma March on Sunday, September 10, at 11:30 a.m. at Kerry Park (1480 Mill Street). Last year the March raised $5,000. This year, organizers have set the fundraising goal at $15,000.

About Myeloma Canada

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

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