Steve Beattie, a grandfather of five, has always enjoyed golfing, woodworking and spending time with his family.
When Beattie started experiencing intense pain in his ribs, he contacted his son, a doctor in Boston, for advice.
His son suggested that Steve get his doctor to recommend a bone scan and a CT scan.
In June 2017, a biopsy confirmed that Beattie had multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the plasma cells. He was 66.
Since his diagnosis, Beattie has undergone radiation and chemotherapy, and has received a stem cell transplant earlier this year. Although he contracted pneumonia shortly after his transplant and nearly lost his life, Beattie has since recovered and is feeling hopeful for the future.
As his health is more stable, Beattie felt compelled to help other patients by raising awareness about myeloma. His resolve prompted him to organize the first edition of the Oshawa Multiple Myeloma March, being held on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 9:30 a.m. at Storie Park in Oshawa.
The Multiple Myeloma March increases awareness and raises funds for clinical research and supports advocacy for accelerated access to new therapies for Canadians living with myeloma.
Organizers say the five-kilometre walk has helped support Canadian clinical trial research that has the potential to be practice-changing and shape the Canadian treatment landscape.
Over the last decade, the average life expectancy of a myeloma patient has doubled, with many now living 10 years or longer thanks to unprecedented advances in research and the development of new treatment options.
Beattie hopes this year’s Multiple Myeloma March will contribute to further improving patient outcomes.
“The advances made in the way myeloma has been treated in the last 10 years have been phenomenal. There is reason to be optimistic,” he says.
Oshawa is one of 23 communities across the country that will be participating in the Multiple Myeloma March. The financial goal this year in Oshawa is $20,000.
For more information about Myeloma Canada, visit, myeloma.ca