A former well respected high school principal diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer, will take part in the 3rd annual Regina Multiple Myeloma March.
The march takes place virtually on Sunday, September 26, and for Patti Schmidt, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in November of 2018, it’s a march she is thankful to be able to take part in.
“I really consider myself very fortunate,” Schmidt said. “I was lucky to be diagnosed very quickly and accurately and able to get treatment very quickly, it’s been two and a half years now since I was first diagnosed,” she added.
Her symptoms started out with terrible headaches late at night, that she would later learn was due to fractures in her skull caused by the cancer, and a lack of energy.
She was quickly referred to a specialist, where she received the life changing news.
Schmidt is now receiving chemo every two weeks following a stem cell transplant in April of 2019 that put her into partial remission.
The goal for Schmidt and fellow marchers is to raise $15,000 this year.
The Regina Multiple Myeloma March is one of 32 communities across the country participating in Myeloma Canada’s nation-wide event. This year, the flagship fundraiser aims to raise $600,000 on a national level.
Myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer, despite very few knowing about the disease.
“The walk is for many reasons, and raising awareness is really important because a lot of people don’t know about myeloma,” Schmidt said. “The more we raise awareness, what myeloma is and alert people about it, perhaps it will get more people to the doctor and get an early diagnoses, which provides hope,” she said.
Nine new Canadians are diagnosed every single day.
The life expectancy of someone diagnosed is five years, but continued research, even since Schmidt was diagnosed in 2018, has allowed more treatment options that can add quality and prolong a person’s life.