James Brophy
James Brophy

More Than Raising Money
Tuesday, January 17
It was almost a decade ago when I first came to know about multiple myeloma and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). My mother, Linda, was 62 when she was diagnosed with the disease. She was settling into her role as a new grandmother, had just watched her only daughter (my sister) get married and was enjoying retirement with my father when we got the devastating news.

Her illness and decline was gut wrenching. She was a woman who was always so vibrant and alive. When she was unable to spend time with my little boys due to the risk of getting sick, it broke her heart and mine. Her immune system was just too weak. These mental defeats were as equally hard as the physical ones.

As Hurricane Irene was leaving her mark on the East Coast in the fall of 2011, my mom lost her three-year struggle. As a result of the storm, many of her closest friends were unable to say goodbye properly. She deserved more.

To fill the void, we decided to honor her life and memory with an annual golf gathering. Golf was a sport she took up late in life, but loved. She embraced its challenges and she enjoyed her time with her new golf buddies. For the past five years, each spring our family rallies together and puts on a great charity event, The Linda Brophy Memorial Golf Classic. Aunts, uncles, family friends that I have known since I was little boy, and generous work colleagues all attend. We get the treat of surrounding ourselves with people she would have liked to spend time with.

My family is proud of our support of the MMRF and the day we have created together. While we have raised over $250,000 on their behalf, the knowledge that this money has, in fact, helped patients’ lives is the most rewarding. The MMRF has accomplished much and has become a model for other cancer organizations.

The 2017 Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma trek to Mt Kilimanjaro is an extension of my commitment and support for the life-changing work done by the MMRF in the field of oncology and cancer research. The work of the MMRF accelerates innovative treatment approaches to extend the lives of myeloma patients and find a cure. When I was offered the chance to be part of this remarkable team, I jumped at the opportunity. I’m honored.

I miss my mom dearly and think of her every day, I am comforted that she will be at 19,341 feet above sea level alongside me on this big challenge. However, my challenge is nothing compared to the challenge faced by her and other patients with multiple myeloma.
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