At 34 years old I was living a pretty incredible life. My wife and I had welcomed our second daughter in March of 2015. We were in the final months of construction on our new house and looking forward to soon calling it home. Yet something wasn’t quite right.

For close to a year I had been experiencing back and rib pain that kept me from enjoying everyday moments with our family. I attributed it to being an active father who was simply starting to show some age. But eventually I made the decision to get it checked out.

Following a series of scans, labs, and checkups we observed a lab result that was alarming, an incredibly high Kappa light chain number.

Shortly after, in October 2015, a bone marrow biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma.

Our perfect little world was shaken to the core.

The compression fractures in my vertebrae led to almost unbearable pain. Fortunately, I was in front of a specialist within days and in a palliative care program that focused on returning me to a quality of life where I could once again thrive as a husband and father.

Approximately 20 weeks of chemo followed and an autologous stem cell transplant was performed in March of 2016. One year later life is good, but as anyone who knows this disease knows it’s far from “normal”.

We have a lot to be optimistic about given the progress being made in research around myeloma. And for now we embrace each day with a unique perspective on life.

— Kent O., Hattiesburg, MS, USA

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