Rich Appelbaum

Name: Rich Appelbaum
Age: 64
Hometown: Oceanside, NY

Many of us have “played” various competitive sports: baseball, football, lacrosse and soccer to name a few. Not me. I wrestled. When someone competes in wrestling, they are forever identified as a “wrestler.” Instinctively, when I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2016, I repeated the wrestling mantra to never, ever quit!

Life is unpredictable and the discipline, determination, perseverance and resilience that wrestling taught me has prepared me to deal with this diagnosis. It doesn’t matter that I am 64 and haven’t wrestled competitively in over 40 years! I will always have that mindset.

Shortly after being diagnosed, my wife Kim told me that she heard Amy Freeze on Good Morning America speak about supporting Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma. At that instant I knew that being part of this organization would be my goal. We found out more about the organization and then applied to be a member of one of the teams. I will admit that initially I looked at this venture selfishly and as a means to provide direction for myself. The last few months has altered my feelings about why I want to be part of this upcoming trek to Iceland.

After communicating with Jane Hoffmann, Brittney Wright, Kelley Ward, Ben Miller, and the people at Vista travel, I have seen what a fantastic, dedicated and caring group of people and organization that I am now forever connected to. 

Asking for help has never come easy to me. When I was informed that I would have to fundraise as part of my commitment, I was a bit anxious. But seconds after my first Facebook post, a friend donated. Shortly after, quite a few more friends responded, and the donations keep on arriving. I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the number of people that gave so generously to support my new mission. My eyes have been opened to how fortunate I am to be surrounded by so many loving and caring friends and family. 

Without the MM4MM I would never have discovered how lucky I am! 
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