Kathleen Mankowich

My husband, Mike, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma a little over two years ago. Incurable cancer? My Mike?

Cancer was not part of the plan. For months after his diagnosis, I was certain the sweet life we had together would never be the same. But Mike entered a clinical trial and did well. We focused on the good news, long-term survivor stories, cutting-edge science and hope. The MMRF offered all these things. We were not alone. Meeting with doctors, attending conferences and hearing the stories of others living with multiple myeloma made all the difference. People with multiple myeloma can live the lives they were meant to enjoy.  

Like Mike, I was one of seven children, so from the moment we met we had a lot in common. We’ve been married for almost 20 years and have a daughter, Mary Camille, a high school senior, who has been a tremendous support throughout Mike’s treatment and recovery. She excelled in school, practiced hard with her rowing team and Mike never missed one of her racing events. In fact, some parents high-fived his bald head ¾ they thought he was rocking a new hair style! 

Mike also has another advantage. He is the most optimistic human being on this beautiful planet. He never steps back from a challenge and multiple myeloma is a big one so he decided to fundraise for a cure. We have to find a cure. Trekking in Patagonia is probably the last thing I ever thought I would be doing.  But like the multiple myeloma journey, life changes us in directions we could never have anticipated. I’m truly honored to be part of the Patagonia team and by Mike’s side always!
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