Airdrie father with incurable cancer raises $3,600 for research – Londoner

Chris MacDonald, pictured far right, and his family have been raising funds for cancer research through the Greg Roberts Memorial Myeloma Walk/Run. Photo by Daniel Kurz jpeg, AI

To raise funds for cancer research, an Airdrie man and his family have participated in the fifth annual Greg Roberts Memorial Myeloma Walk/Run.

Chris MacDonald, who is an active and hands-on father of a 17-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl, and a baby girl with angel wings, was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2017.

Multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer, which affects a type of immune cell called the plasma cell that is found in the bone marrow.

The news was pretty devastating, said his wife Dominique MacDonald.

What upset us most was when the doctors told us that the average life expectancy was 10 years. When youre 47 years old with kids, thats just not long enough.

Shortly after his diagnosis, Chris was hospitalized for over six weeks for extensive chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, which was very difficult for their family to navigate.

Were really lucky to be living here in Airdrie where we have so much support, said MacDonald.

Our community has really rallied around us and put in extra effort to try to maintain the normal routines of our kids. It really has made a difference in how weve been able to cope and manage to live every day.

After nearly two years in stable condition, their family life had almost returned to normal. Unfortunately, the treatments didnt stop the progression of the disease.

Then in the spring of 2020, Chris began to experience hearing loss in his left ear and intense pain in his jaw. He underwent more tests, which revealed that a tumour in his jaw that had caused a hairline fracture and tumours in both of his legs.

He has begun a new treatment plan that will include weekly chemotherapy injections for the rest of his life.

The myeloma is back so soon, said MacDonald.

We are so lucky to have access to a team of experts to help us through this and to have options. We have a treatment plan, and we are ready to fight this. Hes doing pretty well, considering his recent chemotherapy treatments. Going forward, we are just trying to keep his pain under control.

The family remains hopeful that the next round of treatments will keep the myeloma at bay long enough for Chris to return to doing what he loves most, such as playing hockey and softball, coaching his sons lacrosse team, and spending time with his family.

Every day, nine Canadians are diagnosed with myeloma. While there is currently no cure, those people who have been diagnosed are living longer and better lives, thanks to recent breakthroughs in treatment.

On Sunday, Sept. 13, the MacDonald family participated in the fifth annual Greg Roberts Memorial Myeloma Walk/Run with the original goal of raising $1,000 towards cancer research.

Through online fundraising, their team of 14 was able to raise just over $3,600.

Its devastating that there are terminal cancers that still exist, even when theyre caught early, said MacDonald.

Research has come a long way, but we need to find a cure. Right now, were happy and thankful for the research in getting us to this point.

For more information or to donate, visit Donations will include a tax receipt.

Originally posted here:
Airdrie father with incurable cancer raises $3,600 for research – Londoner