Emily Schottman

Name: Emily Schottman
Age: 48
Hometown:  Austin, TX

Myeloma found me back in 2010 when I was 39 years old and landed in the hospital with a severe case of pneumonia. My nurse said an “on-call-ogist” had been summoned since my lab results were so unusual (I heard this in slow motion, “a Dr. who is on call? Aren’t they all on call?”). My father had died from chronic myeloid leuekmia (another blood cancer) when I was 25 so I felt especially alarmed. After becoming all too familiar with M-spike readings, bone marrow biopsies and scans, I had a stem cell transplant in 2011. I have been in remission for seven years. Even though my myeloma numbers have recently begun edging back up, I feel more optimistic than ever.  It’s getting real and surreal!

I felt I was doing what I was put on this earth to do as a Neuro-Optometrist, but apparently I had more learning to do. After my stem cell transplant, I began a graduate program in counseling. Today, I specialize in helping others with post traumatic stress and growth from major life events. 

My kiddos were 3 and 5 when I was diagnosed. Now, my son is 11 and my daughter is 13. I am excited that they and my husband of 15 years will join me at the end of the Fire + Ice trek. Our family has traveled through 10 countries since I was diagnosed.  In response to myeloma’s delivery of a new, focused way of looking at life, it has given us bravery and bonding we never knew before.

I am hiking for my family, Mary Guerrero, Deb Lewis and Amy Pappas (dear friends and multiple myeloma survivors). I’m also very excited to share this experience with my fellow hiker, Jen Ansier. She met me in an Austin coffee shop to share her wigs seven years ago after her own transplants. I became inspired by her and trusted when she told me about the MM4MM endurance event she had requested…in Iceland!
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