Executive Director, Myeloma Canada
Living with Myeloma
Innovative research is leading to key advances in therapies and prognosis for people with this blood cancer.
Rinat Avitzur says being diagnosed and treated for multiple myeloma changed her perspective on life.
“You live for the day. I used to think I would start travelling later in life, and during treatment I realized why wait?” says Avitzur, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in February 2020 at age 55.
Multiple myeloma, also known as myeloma, is the 2nd most common form of blood cancer affecting thousands of Canadians each year and, as of yet, is without a cure. Signs and symptoms may include bone pain, fatigue, weakness, recurring infections, or anemia. Too often, these are attributed to aging, stress, and/or other conditions, making a diagnosis a long and trying process. “We need to increase awareness for this complicated disease so people can be diagnosed earlier and experience better outcomes.” stated Martine Elias, Executive Director at Myeloma Canada. Elias continued, “September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. While we raise awareness for myeloma all year long, our annual fall event, the Multiple Myeloma March brings communities together to also support research and promising treatment breakthroughs that are bringing the reality of a cure closer each day.”
I am hopeful. When I was diagnosed, I was told that myeloma is treatable but not curable. Today they say that a cure is within reach.
After chemotherapy and two stem cell transplants, Avitzur is in remission. She travels, loves to walk and has returned to running. She actively represents the patient voice nationally, is a co-chair of the Toronto & District Support Group, and is on Myeloma Canada’s Patient Advisory Council.
Physical, mental and social support is key
Avitzur acknowledges that every person is different, and advises newly diagnosed individuals to seek support from family and friends. “You can’t go through this alone. I am a mother of three, a wife, a daughter, and a sister. I am not usually the one getting support,” she says. “But you have to be OK with accepting physical, mental, and social support.”
Avitzur also suggests to keep learning about the disease and new and advanced treatments. “I am hopeful. When I was diagnosed, I was told that myeloma is treatable but not curable. Today they say that a cure is within reach.”
Learn more at myeloma.ca.
Myeloma Canada is the only national charitable organization created by, and for, Canadians impacted by multiple myeloma. The organization’s promise is to improve the lives and empower all Canadians affected by myeloma, accelerate access to the best care, while supporting the pursuit of its cure and prevention. Myeloma Canada has been making myeloma matter since it was founded in 2005. Every day, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with myeloma. In spite of its growing prevalence, the disease still remains relatively unknown.