DURHAM — Seven years ago, Tina Fazio Hurlbert’s husband Scott was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, the second most common blood cancer.
After undergoing surgery, months of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, he is currently in remission. Multiple myeloma is a treatable but incurable blood cancer.
“Prior to Scott’s diagnosis, I had never heard of multiple myeloma,” Hurlbert said in a statement. She credits his doctors and team of researchers for his ability to watch their daughters grow up.
Hurlbert will travel to Iceland in August to mark her husband’s recovery and give back to the doctors and caregivers who helped him.
“Being a member of MMRF Team for Cures at this Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma event allows me to take some direct action in helping to fund the research needed for my husband and so many others affected by this terrible disease,” Hurlbert said.
She will join 15 other myeloma caregivers, patients and doctors for the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program, a trek through Iceland to raise funds and awareness for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Team for Cures (MMRF).
Over five days, the group will hike rigorous trails for seven or eight hours a day and stay in mountain huts in “incredible settings.”
On the “Fire + Ice Trek” they will encounter geologic marvels like volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, hot springs, gorges, lava beds, and waterfalls.
The hike is sponsored by Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma, a collaboration between CURE Media Group and MMRF, created in 2016. They have raised about $2.5 million for cancer research through trips like this one, with patients, doctors and caregivers taking on challenging mountains to demonstrate the advancements made in recent years, according to a prepared statement.
“We have found ways to get the impossible done with events like moving mountains for multiple myeloma,” said Jane Hoffmann, associate director of Team for Cures, in a statement. “The success of these events is directly correlated to the passion of each hiker who not only takes on the challenge of these hikes, but makes a difference in the lives of patients with multiple myeloma.”
MMRF was founded in 1998 by Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient, with her sister Karen Andrews. The nonprofit seeks to find a cure for the disease, and has collected thousands of samples, opened almost 100 trails, helped bring 10 FDA-approved therapies to market and built CoMMpass, the largest genomic dataset for any cancer.