Cesar Rodriguez

For the past seven years, I have been dedicated to doing research and treating patients with myeloma. Even though studies have provided us with new treatment options that are allowing patients to live longer, the truth is that we have not found a cure. It is through the day-to-day interactions with patients that I learn the most on how therapies could be tailored to provide the best quality of life, but I have learned the most about living with this cancer after hiking a volcano in Iceland with five patients. The knowledge I have gained through their wins, their battles, and their losses far exceeds what can be taught in a class and pushes me to try harder, to enjoy life’s moments, and to accept our limitations.

Exploring new treatment concepts and discovering new therapies require extensive research, time and funding. It is with the help of organizations, drug companies and government funding that research opportunities arise to break boundaries and generate hope where there was none left. Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma is a great campaign to raise awareness on the achievements obtained from research, from challenging ourselves to bigger things, and to strive to overcome obstacles.

My first climb with this organizations sparked many research ideas, raised more than our goal for research funds and, most importantly, made a bond with a group of people I now consider family.  Unfortunately, it often is more than one mountain that patients need to be climb while on treatment because of relapse or complications, so I will continue to climb mountains and shine a spotlight on them. I do this hike in honor of my patients who are going through their journey, those who have touched many lives, those who courageously have participated in clinical trials, and in memory of my dear aunt.
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