Health Minister Jason Copping recently declared March as Myeloma Awareness Month. According to the Canadian Cancer Society as of last year, 3800 Canadians will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and 1600 Canadians will die from the disease. Myeloma can form when there is a buildup of many abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow. This makes it hard for blood cells in the bone marrow to work normally and develop. Brian Treadwell, the Support Group Leader from the Lethbridge Myeloma Support Network, was diagnosed with myeloma and he says the first question he asked himself was how long he has to live.
“It used to be five years. Now I’m meeting people that are 15-20 years. They’ve survived, and that gives me hope. I’m running into researchers up in Calgary that are saying you’ve got a good chance of making that 20-25 years. If that puts me into my eighties, that means I’m into that average lifespan of your average Canadian who doesn’t have a disease.”
The support group meets every month and you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.