Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Retaining Hope
By Michael

This is not a cruising-related post.
My mom and my girls, 2010
On top of all the dire current events from around the world, it was widely reported that Geraldine Ferraro succummed to multiple myeloma this weekend at age 75. This news is especially significant to Americans because Ms. Ferraro helped us to make a giant leap forward in our ability to normalize the perception of women in powerful leadership roles. This news is especially poignant to me and my family because my mom is afflicted with the same disease that defeated the health of this powerful woman.
Ms. Ferraro lived with the incurable blood cancer for as long as anyone I've read about. I was painting our house and listening to the radio when the first reports of her death were broadcast. I caught my breath and realized I'd internalized quite a bit of hope in Ms. Ferraro's life. She was the most famous person with the rare disease and so long as she continued on, staving off the cancer with one drug after another, it seemed to me that anyone could. I'd accepted that multiple myeloma is incurable, but I'd allowed myself to believe that it was already defeatable.
My mom was diagnosed in 2002, four years after Ms. Ferraro. She wants to continue to hold back multiple myeloma for yet another decade, to see her six grandchildren graduate high school. That will make her roughly 76 years old and see her living with the disease longer than Ms. Ferraro and perhaps longer than anyone living with the disease today. Her wish is not unrealistic. The same kinds of strides were made with HIV, transforming the still incurable disease from a death sentence to a managed condition. With adequate funding, it is reasonable to assume the same kinds of strides may be made with multiple myeloma.
Everyone reading this post is bombarded with pleas for charitable donations. It is neither reasonable nor possible for any of us to accommodate them all. But I am writing with a proposition that you will be hard pressed to find a better way to maximize the effectiveness of a donation.
My mom is in training to walk a half marathon to support the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). This is a charity with a very successful record, momentum on its side, and better certifications for responsible and effective stewardship of funds than any other I am aware of (in fact it is the only organization in the world to achieve these accreditations).
If you can spare the time and some funds to make a donation, please take a minute to read my mom's statement, use the links above to validate my claims about the MMRF, and rest assurred that any money you choose to donate will be very responsibly used to try and extend the lives of many.
Thank you,



  1. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your mom in her fight. She sounds like a very courageous woman. - Barb (s/v Whatcha Gonna Do)

  2. I write this as the tears fall upon my keyboard...I love you Magee.


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