My name is Brian Helstien. While I have been distance runner since the mid 70s, I was not well most of 2010, & diagnosed with Myeloma in February 2011.
I found an IMF sponsored support group lead by Seymour Reinstein in Spring 2011, and ultimately decided to have a stem cell transplant largely as the result of a support meeting agenda that I believe Seymour had specifically targeted to me (and my doubts), and underwent that SCT at City of Hope, October 10, 2011. While admitted to the hospital, I walked a marathon (26.2 miles of laps) on the hospital floor. A lap of the sixth floor of Heleford Hospital at City of Hope is one eighth of a mile.
That's 210 very boring laps. There are four fire/crash doors on the floor, two on the north side and two on the south. To facilitate treatment, I had a Hickman catheter inserted which tied me to an IV tree which I dragged with one hand. After numerous, repeated failures, I managed to develop a rhythm of swinging the IV tree wide with one hand while pulling the doors open with the other, so as to not hit it with the door and to not break stride. I was discharged on October 25th and went outside for a run on October 27th. By November 23, 2011 I was again running daily and as I write this in May, 2013, have now run over 525 days consecutively.
Our group leader, Seymour died January 16, 2012 and I ran (poorly) the Laguna Hills half marathon last Memorial Day (3hr 20mn) as a tribute and as a fundraiser. Seymour had been raising funds to purchase a projector for our meetings and my initial IMF fund raising page managed to put us over the top (see the plaque we've attached to it). While, it raised additional funds for the IMF (much more than needed to purchase the projector), we haven't yet raised enough funds to find a cure for Myeloma. We haven't raised enough funds to produce a universal treatment for all who have Myeloma. Seymour was in remission for thirty-nine months during his battle, but relapsed. During this year 5 additional members just from our group have died from it.
As long as I am able, I will continue running races as a personal tribute to him (and those others) and to hopefully continue to raise awareness and funds to develop new effective treatments. I finished that half marathon last year with Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time" playing in my mind. Join with me. Contribute.
The lyric goes, "I'm only one but not alone, my finest day is yet unknown."
Memorial Day Update. At race start, the sky was completely clear, so I knew it would be hot. My strategy thus was to start slowly, pace myself and save energy. So I went through 3, 6 & 10 miles FASTER than last year but always running within myself. The 13 mile mark is near the top of the last hill and I put myself "into the red" to climb it and finished in 2hr 58mn. From about the half-way point, one sees the same runners running about the same pace. After the race, a number of them congratulated me and told me that I had inspired them. I'd like to inspire you as well. Please contribute.
Please join with me. Contribute, by clicking on the yellow button!