Dennis Castro

As an only child and raised by a single mother, I always knew my mother was strong.

At 9 years old, my mother, Margarita, and God were synonymous in my eyes. Powerful beyond measure and a great cook, her house was the headquarters for family gatherings, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

We had survived renal cell cancer surgery in 2002. It was a trying time, but I admired her courage and tenacity.

I didn’t truly learn how strong she is until she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2011.

Since then, she has embraced every treatment, transplant and clinical trial presented to her with the utmost faith, strength and hope I didn’t know was in her heart. It has been inspiring and a blessing to witness.

On Oct. 21, 2017, I ran the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Team for Cures 5k in New York City. At the event, my mom’s oncologist was the guest speaker. It was a great turnout and a very heartwarming event. I didn’t realize all the support that the MMRF provides. I love what they did and it inspired me to do more. 

After missing it last year, I am filled with gratitude and honored in being selected for the 2019 Mount Washington trek team.

I am grateful for the opportunity to fundraise for this cause. My mom was part of a clinical trial four years ago. Initially, it was extremely taxing on her. Somehow, mid-trial, she managed to cook a perfect Thanksgiving turkey dinner for the family, even though she didn’t have any taste buds. With much success, she has been on the same regimen since. She is evidence that we need to continue research and fund new alternatives to an ultimate cure.

I am climbing Mt. Washington in her honor and all those diagnosed with this disease. For patients’ family members that share the journey and embrace their daily trials with love and a caring heart. Lastly, for the dedicated doctors (Dr. Ajay Chari) and nurses and staff at the Ruttenberg Treatment Center in New York City and many centers like it that have become family in the care they give.

I hope my efforts will help enhance awareness of this disease. I am grateful for all the work that the MMRF is doing to find a cure. To strengthen and help those in need of support and comfort in the everyday challenges with multiple myeloma.

 
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