I saved the largest of our new Millennium Patient Advisory Board members for last. Although battling multiple myeloma for over five years, Elijah Alexander still sports the look of a professional football player. Three years after retiring from his ten year career as a linebacker with the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders, Elijah was surprised to be diagnosed with myeloma. A stem cell transplant and a number of other therapies later, Elijah is holding his own. His motivation: A loving family and his Tackle Cancer Foundation. Here is an excerpt from his Website cover page:
Welcome to the new home of TCF, the Tackle Cancer Foundation. TCF builds on the success of our founding organization, the Tackle Myeloma Foundation, (TMF) and tackles all forms of pediatric cancer and Myeloma by assisting patients, families, and caregivers with information, emotional support, and financial aid.
If you are a patient, family member, or caregiver dealing with cancer, you are not alone, and I don’t want you to FEEL alone – ever. There are others just like you, including me. None of us has all the support and resources that we need, but if we join forces as a team, we can share information and resources with each other and ultimately make better decisions about our health.
As a professional football player, I learned long ago about the value of teamwork, and I bring that sports mentality to the fight against childhood cancer and Myeloma. When you are part of a winning team, you work with others to focus your energy in a single direction. Please read my story and then, join my team. Together, we can support each other and win the fight against childhood cancers and Myeloma.
Elijah Alexander, Founder
I was fortunate enough to eat lunch with Elijah while we were in Boston. Like me, he is driven and motivated to help others anyway he can. The focus of his project is working with inner city patients that may not have easy access to quality cancer care. GOOD FOR YOU, ELIJAH! As most of you know, African American males make up an abnormally large percentage of newly diagnosed myeloma patients each year. My wife Pattie and I have often wondered out-loud about how to better reach black myeloma patients and their families more effectively. My guess is it helps being a successful African American, NFL linebacker from Dallas, Texas!
Feel good and keep smiling! I know working with Elijah helps keep a smile on my face! Pat