March for Myeloma

By Colin MacDonald Join Me

My story

 A routine blood test in late 2015 delivered the devastating news that I had Multiple Myeloma (MM), an incurable blood cancer. Initially it was ‘smouldering’ (sounds sexier than it is, believe me), but things kicked off in 2018, and in 2019 I had a stem cell transplant, standard first line treatment for MM.  

This gruelling regime involved months of heavy-duty chemo and a procedure to extract and replace cancerous cells with cancer free ones. Some lucky MM sufferers get long term ‘remission’ but I got a lengthy stay in hospital with double pneumonia, lung abscesses and a few scary days in Intensive Care. And almost no remission.

My haematologist had a few other treatments up his sleeve, but the MM stubbornly refused to respond. Late last year however – and this is when my luck turned – he was able to secure ‘compassionate access’ to a drug which is not funded in NZ. And so far, so good…..

 We’ve learnt a lot on our cancer journeys (Paula also had cancer in 2017 – she was jealous of the attention I was getting ). We learned that the standard and somewhat barbaric approach of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy aka cut, poison and burn is the go to treatment for most cancers. We also learned that NZ has fewer funded cancer treatments than other comparable countries.

Some terminally ill blood cancer patients who have run out of treatments here look at going overseas.  But, unless you have a spare million dollars, forget it. (see A Slight Touch of Cancer  https://www.skygo.co.nz/show/mac_sh_96634 )

 However, there is hope.

 CAR-T cell therapy is an exciting new development in the treatment of blood cancers and potentially other solid tumour cancers. Already this treatment is showing very promising results overseas not only with effectively beating the cancer but providing long term protection years after treatment.  And in addition to achieving better results, it is a kinder, gentler approach to cancer treatment. 

 And here is the really good news.

 CAR-T is now being trialled here in Wellington at the Malaghan Institute!! They are at the early clinical trial stage, but the results are extremely promising, and they are hoping to release these in the near future.

 The Malaghan Institute are a registered charity who are committed to finding gentler and better cancer treatments through their research into the immune system and to making these treatments accessible to all New Zealanders.  

Paula and I were fortunate to visit the institute last year and decided to help them continue this ground-breaking work.

 As a charity, the Malaghan’s research is heavily reliant on support from the community. Without it, this research will grind to a halt. The more funding, the more they can scale up their research and clinical trials, shortening the time these treatments may become available for New Zealanders.

 And here’s where you come in.  We need your help!

We have decided to fundraise to help support the Malaghan’s research.  

 Our first fundraiser is ‘March for Myeloma’.  During the month of March, before my 64th birthday on the 27TH March, I’m going to walk 64 kilometers, and the rest of the whānau are supporting me by walking or running that distance over the month.  In normal pre-Covid times we’d have picked a day and done this together, but of course we have to do things differently, especially since I have the added MM gift of a compromised immune system.

I am asking everyone to show their support by sponsoring me or a family member.  You can make  a donation to the Malaghan Institute via this fundraising page.

Or if you like, you can join the challenge and set yourself the goal of walking or running 64km (or a distance of your choice) over March. If you are interested in joining the March for Myeloma challenge, click the ‘join now’ button at the top of this page to join the team, create your own fundraising page and share with your own networks.

 All the money raised will go to the Research arm of the Institute to further research into CAR-T. Although this treatment is not currently available for MM in New Zealand and may not be for some time, the Malaghan Institute has recently begun a research project aimed at creating dual CAR T-cells that could treat both B-cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma. This research is in the very early stages, so CAR-T may not be available in time for me or other MM sufferers. But we need to invest in the future if these treatments are ever going to be available here. So please, your support today would be greatly appreciated! I've kickstarted the fund by donating $640 - $10 for every k!

 

My Updates

First Walk

Tuesday 1st Mar
With help from our new puppy Ben, Paula and I clocked up the first kilometres this morning .  It was a beautiful sunrise on Te Ahumairangi hill. Ben was really helpful - he hasn’t quite got the hang of walking yet, but his sniffing game is pretty advanced!

Thank you to my Sponsors

$2.02k

Liz Macpherson

With you my friend

$640

Colin Macdonald

$515

Audette Exel

Cheering you on!!

$515

Baubre And Martin

Go well Colin!

$500

Jim Aitchison

All the best Colin stay strong and positive

$261

Rob Leahy

I was going to say $X for every blister but then started thinking too much about feet and long distance walking….yuk, so thought $5 for every year you look, good luck!

$261

Alison Macdonald

Go Colin x

$261

Steph D

Woohoo what an awesome effort! Go hard or go home. X Steph

$261

Anaru Powai

Ka mau te wehi Chuck

$261

Sue Kysow

Loving the updates, Colin and glad that you've got Ben for company on your walks. Not long until the end of the month so hope that you get some awesome days of weather in the next 11 days.

$261

Anonymous

Colin A very good cause! Kind regards Jeff

$261

Frits Stigter

And I would walk .... miles just to knock the B off! Go well always in my thoughts wishing you all the best with ongoing treatment. Great Cause! cheers Frits .

$261

Suri Bartlett

$261

Tree Thomson

$261

Dianne Saker

Hi Colin I did lots of walking across the ditch! Di

$261

Paul

$261

Jeff Healey

Great cause, good luck Colin!

$250

Jason Webber

$250

Debby Butler

Colin, having just lost mum to cancer (her fourth!) I know how under funded research into new treatments is. All the best on your journey. Debby

$208.80

Jenny And Una

Kia ora e hoa. Good luck with the kms. Xx J and U

$208.80

David Butler

Hi Colin, think of you often and wish you all the best with your ongoing treatment. Your friend, David

$208.80

Chelydra Percy

$208.80

Peter Shaw

$208.80

Rachel And Peter

Go well, Colin, and happy birthday for tomorrow.

$208.80

David & Wendy Joyce

$208.80

Greta Keur

Great initiative Colin. Enjoy the walking. Greta and Paddy

$200

Anne Greer

I was so sorry to hear of your struggle with multiple myeloma but glad your health is better at the moment. Research is vital. Well done for starting this fundraising page.. I hope you continue to benefit from the new treatment.. Anne Greer.

$200

Helen A

$171.22

Alan Pinder

Inspired by your story, Colin and Paula. Every best wish.

$150

Paul Ash

Kia kaha e hoa!

$128

Jim & Lilian Shields

Great initiative by Eilidh, hope all goes well x

$105

Raewyn Bleakley

Colin I’m late at catching up on your news but thought you walking 64km in March was a great way to raise awareness and more importantly money for research. Kia kaha

$104.40

Paula Feathers

Go Col - with you all the way 😍😍😍!!

$104.40

Iain Brennan

$104.40

Paul Churchman

Happy Walking Eilidh.

$104.40

Lottie Ashford

Happy to support such an important cause. Lottie x

$104.40

Janine Milne

$104.40

Simon Vaughan

64km seems a long way to me at half your age, and I don't have a compromised immune system. Amazing work and wishing you all the best!

$104.40

Jan & Mark Recht

Gaun yersel, son!

$104.40

Jess

$104.40

Matt And Zoe Arthurs

$104.40

Susan Freeman-greene

Fantastic fantastic support for this really important org. It deserves a light shone on it. 🙌

$104.40

Erik Koed

$104.40

Arlene White

$104.40

Jan Pierce

$104.40

Maddy & Simon

Good luck Colin! Sending hugs.

$104.40

Fee Illingsworth

Kia kaha

$104.40

Libs

All the best team x

$104.40

Nigel Heeney

$104.40

Pat Cullen

So sorry to hear about your cancer - and sorry for stuffing the Health Cloud on behalf of Rob Lee and myself -still remember what you asked of us tgat day - big hugs and Irish ☘️ Luck on the treatment - cancer took mum a few years back thanks Colin

$104.40

Anonymous

$104.40

Alex Jermunson

$104.40

Karen Waitt

Go well Colin ❤️

$104.40

Stephen Crombie

All the best Colin. Kai Kaha.

$104.40

Sam Rieger

Go Colin and MacDonalds. You're superstars

$104.40

Al And Georgie Morrison-langdale

Go Colin and Ben

$104.40

Barbara Pounder

I am up to 55 k so far this March!!!, keep on going Colin, you and your love family meet alot to us in Leeds xxxx

$104.40

Sue Gordon

$104.40

Keith Mclea

Very worthy cause

$104.40

Allana Coulon

Hi Colin, Lovely to see your smiling face in that LinkedIn post. Your drive and positivity is inspiring. We lost mum to pancreatic cancer quickly last year. It opened my eyes to how devastating cancer is, for so many and the harshness of the treatments. Really happy to support this cause. Arohanui, Allana

$104.40

Bede Brown

YNWA

$104.40

Renee Graham

Kia kaha Colin and whānau xxx

$104.40

Trish And Holona Lui , Catalyst Pacific Ltd

Kia kaha Colin and whanau Well done and we are behind you all the way! You are amazing and doing amazing mahi. Trish and Holona

$104.40

Tom Greally

Nice work Colin!

$104.40

Fiona Michel

Woohoo! Go Colin!!

$104.40

Erica Nicholld

$104.40

Mat

Kia kaha

$104.40

David And Julie Dyer

All the best with getting on top of this Colin. Good on you for putting one step in front of the other for the benefit of future suffers. Do it with a smile - you deserve it!

$104.40

Anne Shaw

Awesome effort Colin!

$104.40

Sarah & Dominique

Colin, Paula, Eilidh, Ben and whanau - Good walking!! XX

$104.40

Jon And Heidi

Go Clan MacDonald!

$104.40

Bell & Genelle

You are a great man Mr Mac! Happy birthday and incredible effort. xx

$104.40

Anonymous

$104.40

Margie B And John B

You did it mate. 64 bloody years. Tx for uplifting research into cancer.

$104.40

Karen Poutasi

Great work

$104.40

Bice Awan

You are an inspiration

$104.40

Jane Perrott

So happy to support this cause, particularly as my dad has this disease as well. I’m enjoying all the pics of you guys walking on the hill. It makes me very nostalgic!

$104.40

Murray Jack

$104.40

Michele Whiting

Kia kaha Colin!!

$104.40

Mike Bradford

$104.40

Phil Hartwick/tracy Harwood

Go well MacDonald. Wishing you the best. Noho Ora Mai!

$104.40

Shona Mainwaring And Tino Pereira

Fab work Colin and Paula and whanau. Pleased to be able to contribute. 🙏

$104.40

Jeremy Banks

$104.40

Larrie Moore

Best wishes Colin, what a fabulous organisation and story - inspiring stuff!

$104.40

Maggie, Sam And Nora

Love from the ready whanau

$100

Sara Brownlie

Inspired by your story of keeping fighting. Hard road for you and your family.

$100

Mod

You are a legend.

$100

Justine Gilliland

Thanks for sharing this important research Colin. Hope things are remaining positive for you.

$100

Jane

Such a worthy pursuit. Happy birthday!

$100

Emily, Ben, And Arie

Such an amazing effort and incredible cause!

$66.82

Paddy And Hannah

Good Luck and all the best!

$66.82

Tim Sole

$66.82

John & Naomi

$64

Sue And George Cook

Way to go Colin! You’re the man!!! xx

$64

Amanda Duncan

Chuffed to be able to support you towards this goal. Go well Colin.

$64

Kelly Spring

Thank you for thinking of Rosa’s generation! You’re an inspiration. Love Kelly and Alex

$64

Julie Chapman

Go well 😉

$52.20

Kath Scott

Go Eilidh!! Great cause for a great fam ❤️ All the best Colin

$52.20

Dugan Flannery

$52.20

Rach J

Such a worthy cause - amazing mahi Macdonald family! Lexi isn’t going to be as excited Eilidh 😝

$52.20

Josh Parkinson

Go well Eilidh and Colin.

$52.20

Alessandra Cuccurullo

$52.20

Miriam, Tom & Immy

Good luck Eilidh!!

$52.20

Cathy And Geoff O'malley

$52.20

Sam Rees

$52.20

Geoff And Marion Eades

$52.20

Tina W

Kia kaha Colin. Looking forward to the day you walk 80km for your 80th!

$52.20

Courtney Johnston

Kia ora Colin - thanks for the opportunity to support this. ka kite, Courtney

$52.20

Anonymous

$52.20

Hannah Mckay

$52.20

Andrea Mcdonald

$52.20

Lisa Neilson

$52.20

Shona Geary

For you, your whānau, for life. And in celebration of walking.

$52.20

Candice Payne

Sending all the mana and aroha to you and your whānau!

$52.20

Peter M Griffin

Bloody brilliant work Colin, well done! Great to hear the new drug is working well, happy birthday!

$52.20

Susan Taylor

Great initiative Colin and glad to hear that you’ve been able to access a treatment that has turned the corner for you. We definitely need access to better and more varied treatments in NZ so hears putting our $$ with the Malaghan Institute to do Just that.

$52.20

Hannah Focas

Sending love MacDonald whanau. Amazing work on clocking up those kms

$52.20

Howie Smith

I don't know you Colin, but Steve Tribe does and I reckon that's a good recommendation. Good luck, great cause.

$52.20

Fenyi

Amazing family!

$52.20

Alison Mcdonald

$52.20

Jill Feathers

Fabulous Colin. Great cause. Go Feathers/ McDonald !

$52.20

Jeannie Boswell Marriott

Well done Colin .. Jeannie and Keith

$52.20

Jen

$52.20

Iain Maclean

Great initiative, Colin. I’m late to your endeavour, but still happy to help.

$52.20

Kathleen Clement

$52.20

Neil & Tracy

$52.20

Ollie Webb

$52.20

Anonymous

go Colin and Paula.

$52.20

Karen Fraser

Great cause

$52.20

Sam Bazalo

$52.20

Libby Neilson

Such epic work team, and belated happy birthday Colin!!

$52.20

Susytricia Taylorwass

Love ya Col xx

$52.20

Anonymous

$52.20

Steve Tribe

Best of luck Colin

$52.20

Anonymous

$52.20

Silverio Governo

$52.20

Kelsey Ingles

Go Eilidh, wishing you and the family good luck!!

$52.20

Tracey Vandenberg

$50

April Bain

Such important research for future generations and your family. All the best

$50

Britt Davies

$50

Uma M

$41.76

Bridget Doyle

$36.54

Jayne Murphy

Hi Colin, I was touched by your story and by the way your family had rallied. I worked with Eilidh in Leeds and she was always a supportive and optimistic co-worker. It’s clearly a family trait! As a Leeds United fan I understand the importance of ‘marching on together’ and never losing faith! With this mind and with every fresh step, I wish you and your family victory in your endeavours.

$31.32

Gigi Lockhart

Hey Colin ! I hope you’re well - keep up the good work.

$31.32

Trilby & David

Best wishes to you and your whanau

$31.32

Issy Hawkins

This is amazing, all the best and sending my love xx

$26.10

Rebecca & Matt Hickey

Go well team. With you all the way!

$26.10

James Bardsley

$26.10

Francois Cuccurullo

$26.10

Darryl Love

$26.10

Madeleine Lock

Go well with the walking (and pregnancy #2!) Eilidh and lots of love and care to the MacDonald family

$26.10

Carla Wellington

Kia kaha, e hoa

$26.10

Sam Grealish

$26.10

Anonymous

$26.10

Jana Galbraith

$26.10

Miriam

$26.10

Hamish Rumbold

Awesome photo! Thinking of you Colin.

$26.10

Hilary9 Stace

$26.10

Anonymous

$26.10

Georgia Lane

Good luck gang! X

$26.10

Carole Richards

Inspirational Colin!xx

$26.10

Tracy Phillips

Eilidh , go girl! We are with you and your family all the way. Good luck with your fundraising, love Tracy and Liam Phillips, Pudsey PSL X

$26.10

Gemma Hall

$26.10

Anonymous

$26.10

Anonymous

$26.10

Anonymous

$26.10

Ezra Jennings-pedro

$26.10

Stephanie Westbury

Great fundraiser and all the best Colin.

$26.10

Simon Browne

All the Best Colin !!

$26.10

Anonymous

$26.10

Emma Day

$26.10

Brooke Warman

$26.10

Jade Lau Young

$26.10

Cally Lane

Walking with you in spirit Colin! Keep well xx

$26.10

Emma Waitt

$26.10

Sophia Allan

$26.10

Anonymous

Get it, Eildih! This is not potato behaviour! 😊

$26.10

Penelope Hobbs

$26.10

Laura Sommer

Walking with you in support Colin- a very worthwhile cause.

$26.10

Sma Grant

Fantastic effort Eildh, Colin, Paula and fam! Happy walking! 💛💛

$25

Aaron & Mik Boslem

Good Luck Eilidh! You’ll smash it.

$25

John Byrne-nash

Best of luck Eilidh!

$25

Anna Tribe

$25

Lynne Whyte

Congratulations Colin & team for such a great achievement. Donated ✅

$20.88

Anonymous

$20.88

Jes Bland

$10.44

Lily Mcloughlin