Rais­ing aware­ness for mom

Par­ent’s bat­tle with mul­ti­ple myeloma in­spires son to or­ga­nize ball hockey fundraiser

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON TC ME­DIA edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Bran­don Win­sor of Har­bour Grace has watched his mom go through some hard times in re­cent months. He’s hop­ing a lo­cal ball hockey tour­na­ment will help oth­ers gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of what ex­actly that’s like for her and many oth­ers in New­found­land and Labrador.

Just over a year ago, Chris­tine Win­sor was di­ag­nosed with mul­ti­ple myeloma, which causes can­cer cells to form in bone mar­row and crowd out healthy ones. Since then, she’s taken pills, un­der­gone chemo­ther­apy and lost her hair.

Myeloma NL — that’s the foun­da­tion in St. John’s — is re­ally, re­ally small. It’s only a hand­ful of peo­ple, and they’ve all got mul­ti­ple myeloma them­selves.

She’s also taken dial­y­sis to treat kid­ney failure. If Chris­tine is can­cer-free for two years, she be­comes el­i­gi­ble for the kid­ney trans­plant list.

Ac­cord­ing to her son, Chris­tine is do­ing well. The pres­ence of the can­cer is now lim­ited enough to the point she’s deemed to be in re­mis­sion.

“But (her doc­tor) said it will come back again. It’s just a mat­ter of time,” Bran­don added. “It could be to­mor­row. It could be 10 years down the road. We don’t know”

Prior to his mother’s di­ag­no­sis, Bran­don did not know a whole lot about mul­ti­ple myeloma. He’s since learned quite a bit and also be­come aware of the mul­ti­ple myeloma com­mu­nity in New­found­land and Labrador, which is a rel­a­tively small one.

“Myeloma NL — that’s the foun­da­tion in St. John’s — is re­ally, re­ally small. It’s only a hand­ful of peo­ple, and they’ve all got mul­ti­ple myeloma them­selves.”

The first-ever walk for mul­ti­ple myeloma in New­found­land and Labrador took place last year, and look­ing for a way to fur­ther help the group, Bran­don de­cided to or­ga­nize a ball hockey tour­na­ment. Pro­ceeds will aid Mul­ti­ple Myeloma NL.

“I just felt it was in my na­ture, where I’m deal­ing with it my­self and my mom is, to try and raise aware­ness,” said Bran­don. “Word of mouth only goes so far.”

On July 9 at S.W. Moores Me- mo­rial Sta­dium, team will com­pete from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a 50-50 draw, food and drinks and mer­chan­dise. Pro- ceeds from a $20 reg­is­tra­tion fee will also sup­port the cause.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/TC ME­DIA

Bran­don Win­sor of Har­bour Grace, right, will host a spe­cial ball hockey tour­na­ment July 9 at S.W. Moores Memo­rial Sta­dium. Pro­ceeds from the event will sup­port Mul­ti­ple Myeloma NL. Bran­don’s mom Chris­tine, left, was di­ag­nosed with the form of can­cer just over a year ago.

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