Kellie's Story

KellieIn July of 2015, at a routine physical, I gave my doctor the usual middle aged female symptoms. A little tired, a little achy at times, had bronchitis this past winter. “Let’s run a full blood panel just to be sure”. Later that week, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Shock, incredulity, angst, fear. You name it, I felt it. I had three school aged kids at home, the youngest heading to 2nd grade.

I was immediately placed in a trial at Beth Israel Hospital. I also began preparing for a Stem Cell Transplant with a triple drug regimen. My body responded well, and the Myeloma was fading. I did not have enough disease present to take part in the study, which to me was fantastic news! I underwent Stem Cell in February of 2016, and remained in patient for 29 days. To say it was ass kicking is an understatement! I came out with a new immune system and was in remission for 3 years.

During this time, I started paying attention to Sheila Kozlowski’s (a High School friend) Facebook posts about the PPP team. My family vacations in Eastham each summer, so I asked if she’d be on the route so I could cheer her on. She wasn’t riding that leg, but her teammate was, who had graduated high school with my sister. What are the odds? It was the beginning of a great new relationship with Jackie McCrillis, who in turn introduced me to Dr. Ken Anderson. I was now a true Patriot teammate under the care of the top Myeloma specialist!

As a surprise, my husband joined the PPP team in 2019. We have loved the camaraderie, and I can not say how grateful I am to the riders. Cheering along the Wellfleet bike trail has become more meaningful each year, and I shamelessly cry as the riders come through. I am in awe of their dedication and determination in the quest to find a cure. It is a truly moving event that everyone should experience at some point.

My Myeloma started acting up again early 2019, and I have been chasing it with chemo and radiation since. Myeloma causes bone lesions, and I have had my jaw, ribs and skull radiated. Dr. Anderson found an experimental trial for me this past July, but unfortunately, it did not lead to remission. We lost my sister on September 29th after a 23 year breast cancer battle. I am currently awaiting a new CAR-T trial in January, undergoing all my prep testing. Oh, and to add insult to injury, I tested positive for Covid on 11/24, the day before Thanksgiving. But, as always, I remain thankful for Dr. Anderson and his team, and I am hopeful that with the newly approved medications and immunotherapies, we will conquer this beast. My children are now 22, 18 and 14, and I am looking forward to sharing all that life has in store for us.

Donate / Ride

We ride because we can. We ride for those who can not. We ride because the training rides and the 192 miles on the two days of the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) are nothing compared to living with or dying from cancer. Click to join our team or to make a donation. Thank You!

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Blood Centers Have Constant Need For Life-Saving Platelet Donations. Watch the Patriots Platelet Pedalers in action at the Kraft Family Donor Center.

Click here for information on donating platelets at the Kraft Family Donor Center. Or call 617-632-3206.