Great news about three of our recent Patient Snapshot featured friends, Mark Parsons Richard Blustein and Jim Bond. All are doing well.
Mark has been discharged following what is hoped will be a successful auto (using his own cells) stem cell transplant. He is currently staying at a Hope Lodge in Ohio (see Jim Bond’s promo for fundraising event that benefits Hope Lodges in the Buckeye State) and feeling better everyday.
Here are a pair of posts I wrote about Mark in mid-February:
Mark also has a CaringBridge site if you would like to follow-along with his recovery:
Here are a few pictures that his daughter, Stephanie, forwarded me yesterday:
Awesome, Mark! I sure must help being surrounded by so many that love and care about you!
Next, my good friend, Richard Blustein, underwent his auto stem cell transplant a few days before Mark here in Tampa. Here’s a link back to his Patient Snapshot feature:
I don’t have any updated photos, but Richard is home and resting comfortably. You made it, big guy! And I’m confident both you and Mark will receive good news when your three month blood test results come in. Here’s hoping for BIG ZEROS when your post SCT M-spike numbers are revealed!
Unlike Mark and Richard, Jim Bond recently underwent an allo (using donor cells) stem cell transplant. I featured the 20+ year survivor in a pair of Patient Snapshot posts last month, along with a follow-up a couple of weeks later:
Last week he sent me this email, detailing his beloved ACS Pan Ohio Hope Ride. I normally don’t promote fundraising events, but Jim has been doing this for years:
The 7th Annual American Cancer Society Pan Ohio Hope Ride (www.panohiohoperide.org) will be July 25–28. I have included a picture with Kathleen and another of our sons, Jim and Bob, who cycle with me in this awesome event. The boys and I were on Day 2 of our 4 day, 328 mile ride from Cleveland to Columbus to Cincinnati last year. The shot with Kathleen is at the 2007 finish in the Cincinnati Hope Lodge. She does not ride, but she drives a SAG vehicle and co-leads the event.
Attached is an overview. Key points include:
- Fully supported bike tour, not a race
- Riders stay in college dorms each night or can elect to stay in a hotel or some elect to camp
- Riders overnight bags are delivered to each college, riders only have to ride their bike
- Luxury buses return riders back to Cleveland or Columbus on Sunday after we celebrate in Cincinnati
- Kathleen co-founded the event in 2007. I did not cycle, so I bought a bike, trained, and have completed all 328 miles each of 6 years of POHR’s existence. I plan to do it again this July 25-28. I am 64 yrs old–other riders are about my age or older.
- We began with about 50 riders in 2007 and have quickly grown to 500 last year, and expect 600 this year.
- The POHR has produced over $2,200,000 for the American Cancer Society over its 6 years. The funds are for patient services, including Hope Lodges.
I am passionate about the POHR because it gives adult cancer patients and families free housing in over 30 ACS Hope Lodges around the country. A friend of mine and fellow MM survivor is planning to enter a Hope Lodge near his transplant hospital next week. Access to leading cancer treatments continues to save my life, and the funds raised by POHR allows more of us to access leading treatments.
Pat, thanks again for helping us raise awareness to this amazing event.
My pleasure, Jim! Just the fact he expects to ride this summer, so soon following his allo transplant, is reason enough for you Ohioans to get your butts out there and join the fun!
I’m ecstatic that Mark, Richard and Jim are all doing so well! Hang-in-there, gentlemen! We are all pulling for you!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat