April 1, 2016 | by City of Hope
When Bob Dickey was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2010, he had no idea his cancer journey would lead him to the top of some of the highest mountain peaks in the world — from Mt. Whitney, to Mt. Kilimanjaro — nor that it would bring him to a national stage in Florida, where he was recently honored by CURE Magazine for his efforts in raising funding for multiple myeloma research.
Now, six years after his diagnosis, Bob is determined to do what he can to help researchers find a cure for a disease that will strike another 30,000 people in the United States this year.
“Wonderful research progress is being made,” said Bob, 49, in a recent Breakthroughs post. “However, the five-year survival rates [for multiple myeloma] are still relatively low. Most of us who are able to achieve remission are eventually going to relapse. While we struggle for the rest of our lives — or until a cure is found.”
There’s no denying that Bob’s cancer journey has been a long one: After his initial diagnosis of Stage 3 multiple myeloma, he spent a month undergoing unsuccessful chemotherapy. Finally, he was referred to City of Hope, where he received a stem cell transplant in 2011. Throughout the experience, he managed to stay physically active and even organized opportunities to raise money to fight the disease, much of which came to fund work at our Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research.
After facing what seemed like an insurmountable uphill battle, Bob marked the first anniversary of his transplant by climbing Mount Whitney, the highest point in the continental United States. “I saw it as a way to raise money for multiple myeloma and to show people that although there is no cure, this is a disease we can manage.”
This year, Bob and a few fellow cancer survivors took on another uphill challenge for charity, joining the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s “Moving Mountains for Myeloma,” and completed a climb to the summit of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world.
“Standing on the summit of that mountain I felt a sense of completion,” Bob said in a video produced by the Multiple Myeloma Foundation to document the historic climb.
He and his climbing teammates were also recently honored by CURE Magazine as “Multiple Myeloma Heroes,” an award presented to those who raise money, awareness and education. The award was presented at the 20th annual International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies.
Learn more about City of Hope's myeloma program and research. If you are looking for a second opinion or consultation about your treatment, request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-HOPE. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.