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Team "Go Jeff Go"
Power To Make The Difference
Jeff, David and Brad Goad are running the Chicago Marathon on October 7, 2012 as part of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) PowerTeam. Suggested donation starts at $26, but whatever you can afford to give is appreciated!

Background Story (by Ramona):

On April 26th, 2011 Jeff injured his back swinging a bat in a softball game. He didn't heed what I almost always half-jokingly-half-not say every time he heads out the door for one of his many athletic pursuits: “have fun, don't get hurt”. Over the course of the first week, after both an ER & doctor visit, we thought he had torn an oblique muscle, only to later learn from an MRI that he fractured two vertebrae (T11 & T12). Yikes.

Over the next two weeks, after many more tests, the mystery unfolded as to why. On May 26th, 30 days after the initial injury, it was confirmed that Jeff has multiple myeloma, an incurable white blood cell cancer that affects the plasma cells. It's possible one rogue cell started it all, and is now hyper producing bad proteins in his blood that are responsible for drawing calcium from his bones, hence the unusual fractures in his spine; as well as harming his kidney function because the proteins are tough for them to filter.

We have big hopes for a positive outcome, hearing stories of many who've lived with this disease for 10-20 years. It represents only about 1% of all cancers & is usually diagnosed in people in their 70s. Go figure. No genetic causes, no environmental or lifestyle causes, just a horrible twist of fate for an otherwise very healthy man who celebrated his 50th birthday on 6/3/11. We now find bittersweet the irony that breaking his back helped catch this before any really, really bad stuff happened. How's that for a blessing?

He bravely & successfully weathered the 3-phase treatment plan that started with a 12-week weekly chemo injection called Velcade to knock down as much of the myeloma as possible (with very limited side effects); a 5-day hospital stay in early Sept for more chemo to mobilize his stem cells for harvest (which, yes, caused the dreaded hairloss - but he has a really nice shaped head!); the harvest itself (mid Sept) and then two stem cell transplants.

We still find this new normal utterly unbelievable. Yes, our world has been turned upside down. But we are both incredibly confident in the care he is receiving from his highly skilled & immensely compassionate team at the Robert Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Hospital. We make an amazing team when we are well armed with information; and are very strong in faith & blessed by an incredible outpouring of love and support of family, friends & colleagues. Please continue to keep him in your prayers and send laughter & good karma his & our way as often as you can - our goal is to find ways to laugh every single day.

Where we are today (by Jeff):

The past 12 months have been about recovery and survivorship. My co-pilot from the start (and continues to be) is my amazing wife, Ramona. The 2 stem cell transplants yielded very positive results and my body responded very well. At the end of June 2012, my Myeloma number (KFL) had dropped below 50 for the first time. Normal is 0-2, and mine was 1400 at diagnosis! This unofficially placed me in the “remission” maintenance category! While there was a fairly tight script for my first year of medical treatments, there really is no script for survivorship. How do you plan and live your life with so much uncertainty ahead. How long will the remission last?

I was so excited and motivated that Ramona and I planned a trip to the Grand Canyon, where we hiked the 18 mile South Rim trail down and back up. I also embarked on training for the Chicago Marathon held in Oct. 2012. I successfully completed the race with my brother Brad at my side, as a part of the MMRF Power team. It was a very powerful and emotional experience to be there raising money and awareness for a cause that can save my life and others. It was my 10th marathon, my slowest marathon by a large margin, but the most rewarding running experience of my life.

Just after the race, my maintenance chemo treatment changed to a new drug, Revlimid. However, I was unaware that the powerful steroid, Deximethisone, that I had been taking since the beginning of my treatments, had gradually built up in my body, and had already begun eroding my muscle mass and strength. “Drugs giveth and drugs taketh away.” Through the winter I began noticing changes in everyday activities and workouts that concerned me about my weakness and fatigue. Though I continued to train, I felt my body slipping backwards in strength, flexibility and stamina. So last month my wonderful oncologist, Dr. Singhal, agreed to stop my steroid and see what happens. A “Dex” holiday as she referred to it. It will take some time for my body to fully recover, maybe months, but I am determined to continue my training and running for the Marathon. My brother Dave will be joining Brad and I at this years Chicago Marathon. Please join us on the starting line by making a donation to MMRF.

Much Love,

Jeff & Ramona

We welcome hearing from you at any time! Jeffery.Goad@gmail.com / rbiliunas@hotmail.com

About Multiple Myeloma and the MMRF:

Multiple Myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. Although progress has been made in treating multiple myeloma, the five-year relative survival rate remains one of the lowest of all cancers.

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.

Since its inception in 1998, the MMRF has raised more than $200 million, making it the world's leading private funder of myeloma research to deliver new treatments to patients faster. The work of the MMRF contributed to the FDA approval of four drugs for multiple myeloma in just four years – a track record unparalleled in oncology. Due to their success in myeloma, these same drugs are now being explored as potential treatments for more than 30 other cancers.

As exceptional stewards of its donors’ investments, the MMRF consistently surpasses its peers in fiscal responsibility and an outstanding 90% of total budget go directly towards research and related programming. The MMRF is consistently recognized in the top 1% of all charities reviewed by evaluators like Charity Navigator

Led by Founder and CEO Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient and Harvard MBA, the MMRF is one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world, well known for its innovative and results-oriented business model approach to funding cancer research.

Please support our participation in the Chicago Marathon benefiting the MMRF! Your donation can help make the difference! We have set a goal to raise at least $10000. We need your help to get there. Please help as you can. It all adds up!

Total Donations Collected:$9,681.00
Goal: $10,000
$0 97% $10,000
Goal
Double your Impact! Did you know there is a fast and easy way to double your donation? Many companies offer a matching gift program. Please visit our Matching Gifts page to see if your employer offers a matching gift program. Don't see your company on the list? Just ask your employer if they offer one!COMPANY MATCHING SEARCH ENGINE
Contributor Amount Comment
Jen Delossantos $50.00 "I wish you all the best! "
Troy Goss $50.00 "Good luck in the marathon Brothers Goad!! "
Mahvish Bari $100.00 "Best of luck David! I applaud your dedication and commitment to this great cause."
Michelle Amthor $50.00 "Way to go cousins! So proud of your commitment to the cause and amazed that you all do the marathon together. Nice job!!"
Tani & Eric Gelber $50.00 "You guys kick ass! See you in Chicago. Peace and Have A Great Day"
Jennifer Dunham $100.00 "Looking forward to the cape! ;-)"
Marge Ruebush $25.00 "Good Luck, Jeff, Dave and Brad!!"
Bradley Goad $200.00 "Happy Birthday Dave! Looking forward to journey of the race."
joseph franklin $20.00 "Way to go, David! Can think of no better reason to wear a costume on a hot summer's day. Good luck!"
john szabo $50.00 "I once ran a 24 hour marathon; 1 mile every hour for 24 hours. In another earlier lifetime I ran a 33:28 10K. Good luck and have fun. Donation Challenge: If 5 of my Facebook friends donate a total of $100.00 I will donate another $100.00! John Szabo"
Victoria Rynberg $25.00 "Thank you for letting me join you on Friday, it was fun!!!"
Victoria Rynberg $25.00 "My parents wanted to donate also, this is from them :)"
Jan Sysmans $111.00 "Goad brothers, You are all three #1 in my book. So the only appropriate contribution is $1 for each of you. Last I checked that came up to $111. And David may be the one with the biggest mouth, but Jeff is the one fighting the biggest battle. So that gives him the first "1" among the ones. Best of luck in your Marathon."
Jay Benjamin $200.00 "Good luck with your upcoming marathon and your fundraising goal!"
Becky Andrus $10.00 "I am so very impressed with your resolve!! This is fantastic. Loved the skating video!!"
Michael Donatelli $100.00 "No matter how slow you go, you'll still be faster than me!"
Kimberly Kilchenmann $200.00 "You so inspired our son. We are honored to support you now and in the future. Go Jeff!!!"
Lisa Groot $50.00 "Go Jeff, GO!!!!"
Paul Kepes $500.00 "A great story with an even greater ending. Go get em Jeff!"
Emma Santa $100.00 "Thank you for sharing the brotherly love. I hope that my sons grow up with a similar care, respect and love for each other. Best wishes."
Robert Scarpelli $50.00 "Good luck, Jeff. As someone who survived a life threatening illness a couple years ago, I admire your courage and determination. Northwestern Hospital is the best. It sounds like Ramona is doing a pretty good job too!"
Robert steinbaugh $100.00 "I am lucky to have you as a friend, Jeff. We will be standing with Ramona watching the marathon. See you then."
Janet Webber $26.20 "best wishes from janet and gary... Go Jeff Go!!!"
Marcia Iacobucci $50.00 "Go Jeff--David & Brad--Go!"
Kim Strickland $50.00 "Power on guys! Have a great race!!"
Rajesh Arora $50.00 "My best wishes to Jeff and David."
Raul Juarez $50.00 "Good Luck Jeff!"
Ron & Louanne Glisan $50.00 "Have a great race!!!"
Jim & Sally Goad $100.00 "We are very proud of you!!"
Eric Goad & Ruth Batey $50.00 "Will be cheering for you this weekend!"
Ramona Biliunas $300.00 "Here's to Jeff, heart of mine Here's to 2 brothers running in time You give Jeff strength & inspire me $100 to honor of each of you three GO JEFF GO I'll be cheering for sure As you run with Jeff, for his life, for a cure! LOVE TO MY GOAD BOYS! Ramona"
Janet Barker-Evans $100.00 "Go go go!!"
Aaron Jurski $100.00 "Should be a walk in the park :)"
David Goad $320.00 "This is more money from book proceeds. Thanks to everyone who bought "Getting to the Point!""
Danya and Rob Rogers $50.00 "Seize the day!!!!!!!"
Nina Biliunas $200.00 "Jeff, you know you have to conquer this...or I wouldn't have anyone to spar with. Good luck. Nina"
Nina Daya $50.00 "You are the change - rock on David and team"
John Wickes $50.00 "I hope you and your brothers had a great run."
Margie Kruse $50.00 "Courage is contageous you know!"
Stein High Match by David Goad $156.25 "I promised to match the funds raised by the Stein High Key Club and they took in $156.25! Nice job, young people!!"

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