Community StoriesNo one walks their journey alone. Mission Myeloma unites community members affected by multiple myeloma right here in Wisconsin. Here are just some of the many stories of neighbors we celebrate and remember.
Our Friend, Pat.
This story about is about our dear friend, Patrick Killingsworth, whom we lost in 2016, and what we are doing to continue his work for a cure.
Through Pat’s eight year journey with Multiple Myeloma, my husband Tim and I were caregivers. Pat liked to call us part of his “dream team”. He knew that when we were staying with him and his wife Pattie, emotions could be expressed freely, tears could trickle down our faces and frustration led to good discussions for new plans for dealing with this disease.
What steps do you take next?
What option will give the best outcome given Pat’s condition at the time?
Doctors’ opinions, patients’ opinions, loved ones’ opinions.
What to do. Really…..what do you do now……???
My husband and I still feel that Pat was not ready to go when he did. There was so much left to do.
I say this because Pat’s life mission was to find a cure for this cancer of the bone marrow and to educate those who were diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma at any stage. In the eight years of dealing with this illness, Pat was a true pioneer and visionary to discover all he could about multiple myeloma.
His published books (to this day) are helping patients with treatment options, insurance advice and give great health tips for eating and exercise to keep the body feeling strong and mentally ready to accept the multiple myeloma challenges that lie ahead. You can take advantage of Pat’s work by visiting the Myeloma blog at http://multiplemyelomablog.com/.
Here’s a video of him talking about his experiences: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZxMWIpU-KM.
With Tim and I being caregivers, we were very aware of multiple myeloma, but it wasn’t until last year that I found out we have such a great local support community in Mission Myeloma, Inc. Mission Myeloma, Inc. is a non-profit to support local patients affected by myeloma. Please join Tim and I in volunteering/supporting at the run/walk event Miles for Myeloma – Fox Valley ran by Mission Myeloma, Inc. Here is the link to register: https://missionmyeloma.com/2017-event-details/.
I can only close by saying ….Pat, we miss you and love you. We are taking good care of Pattie and as you always ended each blog that you wrote….we will continue to “Feel good and keep smiling…”
Until we meet again,
Timothy and Lisa Hanna
Don’s Team was created to honor Don Beyer of Shiocton, who battled Multiple Myeloma from 2005 – 2006. He was our wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a great role model. Even during this battle, he continued to demonstrate courage, compassion for others and appreciation for his caretakers. He is greatly missed! This is our 6th year participating in the walk. [Story submitted for the 2016 Miles for Myeloma event.]
Team Kipper is a team formed in memory of Kip Kitzerow.
Kip was an awesome father, husband, worker and friend. He lived life with a smile and a belly laugh for everyone and anyone he came in contact with.
Kip taught everyone around him the meaning of being positive, and entered into his battle with Myeloma in the same fashion. Whatever curve ball he was thrown during his cancer battle was taken head on while assuring everyone else it would be okay. During Kip’s battle he found ways to reach out to other people affected with cancer and shared his story as a keynote speaker for, “Relay For Life.”
Kip was an alderman for the city of Neenah, and also shared his story through newspaper write ups and public events, inspiring those around him. In return, Kip was finding ways to build his emotional strength as he entered his next phase of treatment.
Sadly, Kip lost his battle 10 years ago on September 29th, 2006. Having the “Miles For Myeloma” walk so close the the anniversary of Kip’s death is a great way for family and friends to gather together and celebrate his life in the same fashion that he did on a daily basis. We walk and tell stories and end the race with lunch and more conversation.
During this time we are able to grieve for the moments Myeloma stole from us. As Kip’s children we grieve for the missing walk down the wedding aisle, the 6 grand babies that he never got to meet, and so much more. Ultimately this helps bring us peace. Through the sadness, we rally together and celebrate a life well lived.
On a yearly basis, “Miles For Myeloma” also gives us a way to contribute to other families who are currently going through the same battle we went through by raising money towards research and new drug development. It’s amazing to see how many new treatment options have been developed in the past 10 years.
Team Kipper is about keeping the memory of Kip Kitzerow alive in our hearts and in our children as we pass also stories of “Grandpa Kip.” We appreciate all of the work that goes in the “Miles For Myeloma” walk that allows us to celebrate Kip’s life, as well as so many others touched by cancer.
Many thanks – Kelly, Dave, Jake, Elyse and Evelyn Kemper (Kip’s daughter and family), Brian, Krista, Avery, Piper, and Crosby (Kip’s son and family)