Yesterday I ran a story, which broke late Tuesday, about NBA Orlando Vice President Pat Williams being diagnosed with multiple myeloma on my news site, MyelomaNews.com.
I usually don’t do a lot with this type of story. Its not that it doesn’t interest me. But other than the knowledge/comfort it gives me–knowing someone famous has the same cancer as I do–my feeling has been “what’s the big deal?”
Well, apparently it is a “big deal.” Not because stories ran about him on–and in–most every major sports media outlet around the country. But because I started getting emails from fellow patients. And not just patients here in the U.S. How about this one from a reader in Germany:
Shouldn’t you feature Pat Williams myeloma in your blog? Never saw more press than today about “bone cancer”. We two know the difference, don’t we?
Best vibes from over the Ocean!
I posted a link to a story on http://www.myelomanews.com/, and tweeted about it. I will follow-up on my blog if you think that is a good idea. Thanks, Thomas! Pat
I felt this had been sufficient. But maybe enough of you aren’t reading my Myeloma News site yet. And maybe I had underestimated the impact of the story on my readers. Here was his follow-up:
I’m not sure, Pat. But this guy is one of the best motivation speakers in
the U.S. And he should have the best relationships to rich men. Every
stock putted in Myeloma research will speed up the research process.
Don’t know how to contact him, but he is newly diagnosed and go to a bad
time. But if he recovers, why not talking to him 🙂 I feel better, when I
do something against myeloma, perhaps same with him.
Thanks for the information
As I continued to receive email links from other readers, I began to see how this story was touching the lives of my fellow survivors.
I don’t know why I don’t post more about “celebrity” multiple myeloma related news. I have also been told I don’t do enough myeloma related human interest stories, either.
Here is a short, AP version of the story from the wires:
ORLANDO, Fla (AP) The always upbeat Pat Williams says he plans to beat the blood cancer he has been diagnosed with and has started an aggressive treatment.
The long-time Orlando Magic executive was diagnosed with blood multiple myeloma, an incurable, but treatable blood cancer. The 70-year-old Williams was diagnosed with the disease after taking a routine physical early in January. The vice president of the Magic is, as always, optimistic about his chances of beating the disease.
At an appearance Wednesday, Williams wore a t-shirt with the slogan: “The mission is remission.”
Williams says “I don’t think you want me to sit around sucking my thumb and bemoaning my problems.” He says he is going “to go on with my life as normal as I’m able.”
Maybe the readers who have contacted me make a good point. You hear famous breast cancer, leukemia and lymphoma patients speak to the media this way often. But rarely a myeloma patient. Partially because our cancer is less common. But also because ours in an incurable cancer.
I think Mr. Williams’ t-shirt is inspiring. I hope this story doesn’t just fade away like so many others. Guess part of my job is keeping stories like this one alive. I will work on that!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat