Michelle Cunningham-Joost
Michelle Cunningham-Joost

Fulfilling My Promise
Tuesday, May 23
In November 2016, I set out on a journey to keep a promise I made to my mother — "I’ll never let people forget you. For your love, generosity and compassion for family, friends and complete strangers, and to ensure I do everything in my power to help find a cure so that others may live, live longer… live forever."

With the help of Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, Takeda Oncology and CURE, I found a group of people who inspired and motivated me even more to keep that promise. Through their triumphs, laughs, struggles, tears and personal stories they made me realize I not only made a promise to my mother; I made it to them, and so many more people. This promise has evolved in a way I never thought possible; it has become a lifelong commitment to ensure that we find a cure.

In a poem, written by Gwen Flowers, she states “… grief is not something you complete but rather, you endure. Grief is not a task to finish and move on, but an element of yourself, an alteration of your being. A new way of seeing and a new definition of self.”

Climbing the Grand Canyon was just the beginning of fulfilling my promise to my mom and it has changed me forever. This is my way to endure the loss of my mother and this is the new me that will accept nothing less than a cure.

We still have mountains to move, but spending time with Kathleen, Steve, Catherine, Stan, Gina, Megan, Jon, Lupe, Stacy, Scott, Bernadette, Colin, Marty, Jane and Brittney showed me that there are people living with multiple myeloma and there are amazing supporters behind the fight to find a cure. This was an opportunity that could possibly save lives. I can’t think of a better way to honor my mother. I am so grateful for this experience.
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