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Welcome to Never Quit Never Stop Not Today Not Ever (sm)

Gary Rudman

Welcome to my story. My name is Gary S. Rudman and I am a Multiple Myeloma Patient.

In April 2015, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. I wanted to meet other Multiple Myeloma patients, share my story, and help a few folks along the way.

My long term goals include: (1) spreading awareness for Multiple Myeloma, (2) helping patients in any way, shape, or form, (3) fundraising for cancer research, (4) motivational speaking and consulting, (5) showing that patients can and will live the “New Normal Life”, and (6) beating Multiple Myeloma into submission.

A key factor to my transplant success was my Fitness Level. Five hours after my first chemotherapy treatment while in-patient at MD Anderson, I walked my first 5K on the hospital ward. The second day, I walked a 10K. After the 10K, I got on my cycling trainer which was in my hospital room, and rode for 45 minutes. I have to tell you that WAS the best 45 minutes of spinning I had ever done. As for getting my bike in the hospital, persistence. I would not take NO for an answer.

On August 4, 2015, I received my autologous stem cell transplant. Very emotional. My new birthday.

“Exercise” and otherwise excellent health were key components to my successful Stem Cell Transplant. Too many patients become a “plant” and feel pity. With exercise, you can put “away” the problem, even for a little bit. Find something you like, and don’t limit yourself. Integrative Medicine to include exercise, music, and meditation provides valuable stress relief sessions and gives you back what you need the most…TIME.”

Shortly after my Stem Cell Transplant, while at home in Columbia, South Carolina, I was asked to create a video to help motivate the Ironman Arizona MMRF team. It was now my turn to help focusing on two main points.

First: NEVER QUIT. NEVER STOP. NOT TODAY. NOT EVER (sm). My motto started on a cycling metric ride honoring fallen emergency services personnel in Gaston, South Carolina. Within 10 miles of the finish, I encountered the dreaded “elephant hills.” Over and over I said the words, “NEVER QUIT. NEVER STOP. NOT TODAY. NOT EVER.” My motto stuck and became the foundation for everything I do.

Second, helping patients in any way shape or form. I’ve met with newly diagnosed patients to provide a game plan and to reassure each patient that a positive outcome is within reach. You are not defined by cancer. You are defined by what you do, how you hold yourself, and how you react to stressful situations. In simplistic terms, helping others “changes the world with one random act of kindness at a time”.

As a Multiple Myeloma Patient, Patient Advocate, and Spokesman, I've provided presentations at:
- 2015 Ironman Arizona, Key Note Speaker MMRF Team Reception (Video)
- 2016 Atlanta 5K Run/Walk,Spirit of Hope Recipient
- 2016 Ironman Lake Placid, Key Note Speaker MMRF Team Reception
- 2016 Chicago Marathon MMRF Team Reception
- 2017 Atlanta MMRF Patient Summit, Georgia Tech Conference Center
- 2017 Monoclonal Antibodies Webinar, Shared Patient Experience (Empliciti)

As an Endurance Cyclist, my Multiple Myeloma pain goes into a lock box when I ride. For whatever time and distance, an hour or four hours, nothing matters. It’s me, my friends, and the back country roads of South Carolina. I push forward. I am not in pain. I am getting faster. I am free. I am focused.

Since in-patient at MD Anderson, I’ve participated in 3 clinical trials. My current clinical trial compares Empliciti (Elotuzamab) with Revlimid and Dexamethasone in the maintenance therapy phase vs. Revlimid and Dexamethasone alone.

Empliciti is one of the immunotherapy drugs the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) has worked endlessly to garner FDA approval. Empliciti works by finding undetectable Myeloma cells. Empliciti surrounds and highlights the Myeloma cells allowing the NK, or Natural Killer component of the White Blood cells to attack and destroy the Myeloma cells. Truly a breakthrough in the field of immunotherapy.

Empliciti is approved for refractory and relapsed Multiple Myeloma, but not (yet) for maintenance therapy. In addition to Empliciti, in the past 10 years, 10 new drugs have garnered FDA approval with the help and support from the MMRF. Patients like me are now seeing Progression Free Survival Rates increase. Ten years ago, a patient diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma did not have a very good prognosis. With the MMRF as an advocate for cancer research with the ultimate goal of finding a cure, Multiple Myeloma patients are living “The New Normal Life”.

In August 2016, I had my one-year stem cell transplant checkup. My doctor told me I am maintaining complete remission and have tested minimal residual disease (MRD) negative. When asked, I let friends and family know I am in complete remission “for now”. For now I say, since there is not yet a cure for Multiple Myeloma. Soon, soon I will tell people I am in complete remission…and CURED.

As a result of my work with the MMRF, I was selected to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. The 16 member Mt. Kilimanjaro team includes 6 Multiple Myeloma Patients and supports the life changing work accomplished by the MMRF in oncology and cancer research. On February 27, 2017, the Mt. Kilimanjaro team successfully achieved the summit at 19313 feet. Our efforts displayed to all Multiple Myeloma patients that you can do and attain whatever you want. You set your goals. You achieve your outcome. You are in charge.

The MMRF was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. The MMRF, along with its research and medical industry partners, has fueled more studies, initiated more trials, developed more treatments, introduced more medicines, and have had a far greater impact than any other organization on myeloma.

The MMRF is one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world. Nearly 90% of the MMRF total budget goes directly towards research and related programming. The MMRF has received the “Best in America” Seal of Excellence from the Independent Charities of America and Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating for the past twelve years in a row. The MMRF has also been recognized by Philanthropedia as one of 16 expert-identified, high-impact nonprofits in the field of cancer."

Funds raised through MMRF events have helped to:
• Nearly triple patient survival
• Deliver ten new treatments in a decade
• Launch over 60 new clinical trials

While the MMRF has made enormous progress, they still have much to do and cannot continue to do great research without your support. Please join me to fight multiple myeloma, as your donation will have a meaningful impact on the lives of thousands of patients and their families! Your generosity truly makes a difference.

Together, we WILL find a cure. Thank you.

Gary S. Rudman, Multiple Myeloma Patient, Patient Advocate and Spokesman

Checks:
If donating by check, the check should be made out to: “The MMRF” and sent to me.

Matching Gifts
Did you know you can double your impact in seconds? Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees. Find out if your employer offers this benefit! Visit the MMRF Matching Gifts website (themmrf.org/matchinggifts) or ask your Human Resources Department!

Comments

$250
raised of $100,000 goal
 

Recent Donations

$50.00
1. NTNancy Tolliver
Thanks for all you and your family do. #neverquitneverstopnottodaynotever
$50.00
2. CPCarmen Phaneuf
Thank you Gary!! Fly safe! Carpe Diem!
$100.00
3. RRebecca Amitai
Gary -- you continue to inspire and amaze!!
$50.00
4. Gary Rudman
Kick starting the donations. Never Quit. Never Stop. Not Today. Not Ever.


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