Our Myeloma Story
It’s hard to believe that this will be our 8th year for Miracles for Myeloma 5K Race\Walk, and we have funded a total of eight research grants and raised over $600,000! Other than trying to present this race by going virtual this year, my desire to make a difference to help remains the same. My needs are just as strong as ever, to help raise money and awareness for Multiple Myeloma. Although we have a pandemic, the cancer doesn’t wait to come at another time. We are still living with this disease and praying for a cure.
My personal story began almost 13 years ago in 2007, when I went to my primary care physician for my annual routine physical. This appointment turned out to be anything but routine! Imagine my surprise, confusion, and fear, when I was diagnosed with a disease that I never knew existed! This disease, multiple myeloma, is defined as an incurable cancer of the plasma cells.
After going through chemotherapy treatments and two stem cell transplants, I am currently in a remission. However, my personal battle with myeloma is far from over, as there is no cure available yet! Of course, my goal is for a cure to be found, and this is why I was and will always be so passionate about reestablishing this annual race in conjunction with the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) to help fund much needed research.
We are definitely helping to make Miracles for Myeloma. So with this in mind, let’s all try to help accelerate the cures, and give hope to myeloma survivors and their families. Please participate with the Miracles for Myeloma committee’s wonderful efforts, and join us along with the IMF to fight this deadly disease and to get to that finish line… the cure for multiple myeloma.
My brother, Frank Guarino, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in June of 2011. He passed away just 18 months later, on December 31, 2012, at the age of 51. When he was diagnosed, we had never heard of this disease but that changed after countless trips to Hackensack University Medical Center, two stem cell transplants and several chemotherapy treatments. Frank was an avid runner since high school and he had discussed wanting to raise money for multiple myeloma research by hosting a 5K race. His life was cut short prior to seeing this goal emerge as a miracle.
Multiple myeloma is not a widely known cancer, but as fate would have it I met a wonderful person who was struggling with the same disease as my brother. Within the hallways of my daughter's preschool, Sheree Pask and I became instant friends while discussing our circumstances surrounding this rare form of cancer.
As a tribute to my brother Frank, during his funeral services, we included several of his racing numbers along with many photos of him running throughout his life. Sheree and Ron Pask saw these tributes and asked if I would join them in creating a fundraising 5K race. To our amazement, 7 years later, with the support of family, friends, sponsors and dedicated runners throughout New Jersey, we hosted seven 5K races and raised over $600,000. Together, we made a miracle happen!
If the Miracles for Myeloma Annual 5K would help save one family from enduring the heartache this disease has caused my own family, this would be the biggest tribute I could give to my brother Frank. Please join the Miracles for Myeloma 5K committee in making the 8th Annual race on September 26, 2020 another race to remember!