Talk to a Nurse 1-866-603-MMCT (Monday - Friday, 9am - 7pm ET)

Teams and Walkers

Select A Team:

Donate Register Log in


 

 
tJ

Welcome to TEAM JITIY

JITIY

JITIY

Welcome to Team JITIY’s home page. I’m Artie, Team Captain, and Multiple Myeloma (MM) patient. For those of you who know me well, you know that I don’t typically share personal information. Heck I don’t even have Facebook. My preference would be to continue that tradition of privacy, especially about my health, but I feel our story-that of my family, friends,and faith could be helpful to fellow patients, shed some light on the disease, and raise money for the MMRF... so, I figured I should share it.

The summer of 2018 started like previous years, with my wife and I shuttling our three young kids from one activity to another. I ran around under a water balloon attack launched by my kids and their teammates at our annual end of the year softball party. My back and body were sore but not in a way that I thought was abnormal for a dad blessed with an active young family. Boy was I wrong! About 4-6 weeks later, I relied on cane and assistance from my family to get around. In what felt like I blink of an eye, I went from a “big kid” running around throwing water balloons to an old man no longer able to take care of himself. In the midst of this, we learned that I have cancer - which even months later, I still can’t believe. Thankfully my doctor wasted no time getting me on chemo and placing me on a path to recovery. My wife and sister put together a calendar of caregivers comprised of family and friends who would come to stay with me. For someone who prided himself on his ability to accomplish tasks independently it was quite humbling...and depressing. Other friends and family babysat our kids, made meals and did whatever else they could to relieve the tremendous burden placed on my wife and kids.

Nothing about cancer, a disease of abnormalities, is normal. We were told that I would have six months of chemotherapy and possibly a stem cell transplant that would hopefully put me into remission. However, about six weeks into chemo treatment, my doctors concluded that my spine needed to be stabilized with cement and rods because the disease had cracked a vertebrae which was likely causing most of my pain. While I was furious that I had gotten to the point of needing the surgery, it has helped me tremendously. In fact, without it, I certainly wouldn’t expect to be participating in this event. A few months after the surgery, my treatment plan changed again, and I spent five days in the hospital with a different cocktail of continuous chemo. Then came the hardest part, moving away from my children for a month for my stem cell transplant. My goal has always been to bring the disease to an undetectable level, the best that any patient can ask for. However, after all my family and I had endured, I fell short of my goal. Now, I’m on a maintenance plan that we hope at least prevents the disease from progressing and could consolidate it even further.

This year has felt like one very long roller-coaster ride. While the ups and downs of that ride have sometimes led to abrupt treatment plan changes, it often worked out that the changes allowed me to participate in many family events like birthdays, first communions, kids sports etc. that I would have otherwise missed...blessings in disguise. Another blessing has been how our already close knit family has gotten even closer. The thought of having to tell our three beautiful young children that Daddy has cancer was the hardest thing my wife and I had to do as parents. But children are tough and we told them that the cancer was like having some “yuckies” inside that the doctors were trying to get out. Our children pray each and every day that those “yuckies” are removed and they give me the strength needed to push through any difficult times. It has taken a village comprised of family, friends, our church, doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and most importantly our deepened faith in God to help me and my family handle the MM roller-coaster. Amidst all the bad news are moments of hope that continue to echo in our hearts and heads. This echo is as simple as encouragement, a prayer, or scripture passage from a fellow patient, friends or family. One of my favorites is "You show your kids what it means to fight!"

Rattling around my head with these are childhood memories that help to push me forward. Growing up in a self employed small business family, I was witness to the struggles my parents endured to support me and my sisters. Each downturn in the economy could have brought chaos to our household, but my parents didn’t let their financial struggles bother them. I always remember my dad saying - usually in reference to Uncle Sam, “I don’t care if they knock me down or out, I’ll come back bigger and better.” In a nutshell, that's one of the reasons I’ve decided that I need to physically run this race - to prove to myself that even during this roller-coaster that brought me to me knees, I can come back even better than before. However, the primary reason to participate in the event is in thanksgiving to God for giving me the strength to run again. My family and I hope you can join us in Philly this fall!

Before telling you about the MMRF and the wonders they’ve done for those with MM, I wanted to share some other charities and good causes we believe are worth supporting:

Hugs for Brady
Embrace Kids
One Simple Wish
Interstitial Cystitis Association

We'd love you hear about charities that are near and dear to your heart and how we can help.

As a side note, remember to use the “smile” site when ordering from amazon (smile.amazon.com). When using this site amazon donates a small portion of your order to the charity associated with your account. You might be discouraged when an order only generate a few cents toward the charity but stick with it, each penny counts. In total amazon has donated nearly 135 million

Join Us! The MMRF is removing obstacles faster and extending lives. But we need your help. - JITIY

This year, we will be participating in the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Team for Cures 5K Walk/Run. We have committed to raising awareness and funds to accelerate finding a cure for multiple myeloma, which is the second most common blood cancer and is incurable. Your generosity truly makes a difference, as funds raised at this event have helped to:

Nearly tripled patient survival
Deliver ten new treatments in a decade
Launched over 60 new clinical trials

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure.

As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $330 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. The MMRF has received a “Best in America” Seal of Excellence from the Independent Charities of America, and an “A+” rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy. The MMRF has been recognized by Philanthropedia as one of 16 expert-identified, high-impact nonprofits in the field of cancer. We are also in compliance with all of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability. Rated 1 of 2 highly rated cancer organizations from Consumer Reports.

Please support our participation in the MMRF Team for Cures 5K Walk/Run. Your donation will have a meaningful impact on the lives of thousands of patients and their families! The MMRF is bringing treatments to trial 60 percent faster than the industry standard and tripling life expectancy. THIS IS SCIENCE, NOT FICTION. The MMRF needs your support. History is being made, so we invite you to join us.

Thank You!

* Did you know you can double your impact in seconds? Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees.

Find out if your employer offers this benefit! Visit the MMRF Matching Gifts website (themmrf.org/matchinggifts) or ask your Human Resources Department!

Comments

$13,120
raised of $30,000 goal
 

13 Fundraisers

recruited
Join Our Team

Recent Donations

$100.00
1. DPDonna M Papkin
Artie, I am so happy that your doing better. Continue the fight!!!! You and your family are amazing!! Love you, Donna
2. ?Anonymous
$50.00
3. CPCathy & Stephan Puc’
$25.00
4. PJPatricia Johnston
Artie Keep fighting
$25.00
5. CHChantal Hagan
$50.00
6. LRLori Roth


Thank you to Our Race Sponsors