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Cindy Chmielewski: Friend, patient advocate… Celebrity?

Home/Inspirational/Cindy Chmielewski: Friend, patient advocate… Celebrity?

Cindy Chmielewski: Friend, patient advocate… Celebrity?

If you recall, I joined a number of other myeloma patients and caregivers in Atlanta last December, helping to cover the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meetings on behalf of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF).  I was excited to learn yesterday that a very good myeloma friend of mine, Cindy Chmielewski, was interviewed by colleague and fellow cancer survivor, Andrew Schorr, while we were all working together in Atlanta.

AndrewAndrew has created an amazing media company called Patient Power.  He has done some significant interviews with myeloma experts and researchers over the years.  Yet of all  his interviews, I think I love this one featuring Cindy most.  It’s so informal and conversational; I think it captures Cindy’s unflappable spirit.

Cindy headshotCindy is always so upbeat and eager to learn.  A former elementary school teacher, Cindy’s myeloma forced her into early retirement.

But she doesn’t have any problem staying busy!  In addition to volunteering for the IMF, Cindy helps give back by mentoring other patients and caregivers.  And she’s an active patient advocate,  using Facebook and Twitter to help keep us all feeling connected.

Click-on the link below to watch Andrew interview Cindy at ASH:

The Importance of Connection: Reaching Out to Myeloma Patients-Cynthia Chmielewski

 

Although Cindy lives in New Jersey, one of the support groups she attends is in Philadelphia.  I’m flying-up to speak to the group in June.  Cindy has volunteered to pick- me-up at the airport and show me the sights  the afternoon before their Saturday meeting.  I can’t wait to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross’ house, stop-and-go rush-hour traffic, angelic sports fans…

Cindy in Atlanta

Here’s a picture of me and Cindy the night we arrived in Atlanta last December. The good looking guy on my left is another volunteer, Michael Tuohy.  Michael’s wife, Robin, coordinates support groups for the IMF.

Covering ASH was a lot of work, but I think you can tell we all had fun, too.  How ironic that our despicable cancer would open a portal to so many priceless relationships.  Despite being forced to live with the pain and uncertainty of myeloma, I’m truly blessed.

If you would like to contact Cindy on Twitter, her handle is @MyelomaTeacher.  I’m sure she would love it if you followed her.  Believe it or not, I have two Twitter handles: @HelpWithMyeloma and @HelpWithCancer.

Social media is still a bit overwhelming for me.  But I’m learning more everyday.  Cindy is my Twitter mentor.  How am I doing so far, Myeloma Teacher?

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat