In June of 2014, lost I lost my 52-year-old mother to Multiple Myeloma (MM). This is why I’ll be walking in the Myeloma Run/Walk on September 10th.

In 2014, my mom, Vesna Heriban, received notice that she had been chosen for a brand new clinical trial, and was one of three people picked in all of BC for this trial which had a positive outlook. It would be held at Vancouver General Hospital and it gave my family and I tons of hope for the future. Unfortunately, she was chosen too late and her health had already begun to drastically suffer. Her platelets were too low, registering her ineligible to be considered for the trial any longer.

My mother passed away in June 2014. I truly believe if there had been more money and coverage for MM research this trial could have started months earlier, and she would have had a real chance at something that could have potentially worked and gave her more time with us. Every year since my mom passed away, I’ve been attending the local run and walk to raise money for VGH clinical trials.

When I found out the previous organizer of the Myeloma Run/Walk, Francesca Plaster, had passed away from MM, I felt compelled to step up and help organize this event. Francesca was not only the organizer the event, but also started the Vancouver Multiple Myeloma Support Group almost 20 years ago.

Joining me in organizing the Myeloma Run/Walk is Jenny Lyster who also lost her mom to MM around the same time I did. The two of us are hoping to raise awareness for MM, (which is not as well-known as other cancers) and to raise funds to help people in the community affected by it. Since this is such a small group of people, we want to continue to help others find support and bond together knowing they’re not alone. I hope that this event brings people together and encourages those with MM to continue with the support group.

-Sonja Russell, Myeloma Run/Walk Organizer

Learn more about how to support Sonja and her team here: