My mom, Maria Palermo-Saraco was diagnosed with high-risk multiple myeloma in September 2017. Prior to her diagnosis, we had never heard of multiple myeloma and had no idea what the future held for her in terms of treatment side-effects and overall prognosis. As she underwent treatment, I immersed myself in all the latest research around the disease and shared my knowledge with her. Through this, she was made aware of the need for increased access to drugs and treatment options for Canadians. She told me that when she achieved remission, she would dedicate her time to fundraising and advocating on behalf of all myeloma patients. I told her we would advocate together. Sadly, she never was able to fulfill her dream of advocating, and succumbed to complications from her autologous stem cell transplant in July 2018. However, since that day, I have worked to keep my promise to her. This year, I'm walking solo fpr the Multiple Myeloma March and I'm supporting Myeloma Canada in their efforts to advocate on behalf of myeloma patients, their caregivers and their families as well as work towards furthering research and funding for this complicated disease.
My fundraisning efforts for Myeloma Canada aren't just limited to the walk. In March 2019, I cut 8 inches off of my hair as a way to spark a conversation around myeloma awareness and was able to raise $3000. In March 2020 I attemped 'marching' for myeloma during the Month of March. I will forwent public transit and Uber in an effort to walk to as many destinations as I possibly can — however COVID had different plans.
I hope you'll consider donating even a small amount to improve outcomes for myeloma patients across Canada and in memory of Maria. Her journey with myeloma was cut short, but I hope we can together increase chances of survival for others impacted by this rare and complicated cancer.
I'm at 0 km of 0 km.