Stacy Blain
Name: Stacy Blain
Age: 50
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
As a biomedical researcher who works in the multiple myeloma research field, I understand how transformative research dollars can be. As the friend of a multiple myeloma patient, I want to partake in this event with her to demonstrate how far she has come.
I am a professor at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center. Part of my research has been in the multiple myeloma field for several years, focusing on cancer stem cells. While there are many new, effective therapies that can induce remission, most multiple myeloma patients relapse, leading to the hypothesis that a chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem cell (CSC) remains dormant until a time when it wakes up to reestablish disease. Multiple myeloma outcomes lag behind those for other blood cancers, and one main difference for this disparity is the lack of multiple myeloma treatments aimed at the CSC. This is the focus of my work. When I learned that one of my best friends, Catherine Sloane, had just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, I felt this was a personal challenge to me – I needed to work faster and better. I needed to spread the word even more widely to get people motivated to help us deal with this disease. Catherine is my muse and I am committed to help her stay healthy.
I am grateful to be participating in this event with my friend Catherine. When she was diagnosed, it was scary, and she couldn't see past the "now." I told her that we wouldn't worry about the future but would deal with today. Catherine has been cancer-free for several years and is an amazing mother, lawyer, friend and advocate. We want to show our community and the community at large that this disease is not going to slow us down. Ten new therapies were approved for multiple myeloma in the last 10 years, which is amazing, but we have more work to do and we need to continue to mobilize our donor base so that research can continue full-speed. This hike is another opportunity for us to be loud, be bold and get the word out.
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