Name:Jeff Goad
Hometown:Chicago, IL
Reason for climbing:Multiple Myeloma Patient
My Story:Five years ago in 2010, a week before my 50th birthday, I received a very unwelcome birthday present in the form of a Multiple Myeloma diagnosis. A common thread of most Myeloma patients is an event, typically activity related where they received an injury that led to tests and the discovery MM. In my case it was an injury in my first league softball game, that I thought was a pulled muscle in my back that morphed into a compression fracture of my T11-12 vertebrae. Well how in the world does that happen just swinging a bat? So 4 wks later and numerous MRI's and other tests delivered the unwanted news. I was in an advanced stage and started aggressive chemo the next week and for the duration of the summer. A successful Stem a Cell Harvest in Sept followed by the first of 2 Stem Cell transplants, one in Oct and the second in March of 2011 put my MM into a temporary remission phase. Why only "temporary", because there currently is no cure for MM and so it's not a matter of "if" but "when" it will return, and that "when" happened a month ago on my 55th birthday!

After recovering from my second transplant I quickly got back to my robust lifestyle by running Chicago marathon in 2011/2012, New York 2013, and Big Sur Half in 2014 with the MMRF endurance team to raise money for research. What an incredible organization with dedicated caring people that have truly become part of my extended family, and through these events an integral part of my recovery. Sprinkled into the mix are annual hiking and backpacking trips out west with my amazing wife Ramona ( who is doing the climb with me as well) through Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons and a rim-to-rim stroll of the Grand Canyon last year. It really felt like my life was back to "normal" and then the reality of my cancer tapped me on the shoulder in the form of an active lesion in my hip! Fortunately, it "shouldn't" interfere with my training, but the boost in my drug regime has it's own challenges.

I was attending the MMRF gala here in Chicago just a week before I received the news and it was so uplifting to hear all the new drugs that had become available in just 5 yrs, little did I think I might be in need of them so soon. This climb of Kilimanjaro with my wife and the rest of this terrific team is truly climbing for my life, and for the lives of every other MM patient. It will also fulfill a lifelong dream that dates back to the 4th grade, when I wrote and presented to my my class, an adventure I wanted to take to Africa and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and see the endless herds on the Serengeti.

Please help Ramona and I achieve our goal of raising at least $20,000 together, to win this race against Myeloma!
Interested in multiple myeloma updates from CURE®? Sign up for our newsletter!

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

View our interviews with climber Chuck Wakefield
Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy