Ryan is an incredible person & great friend. We met in the 4th grade and instantly bonded. His love of music, art, & life were contagious & inspiring. Five years ago, he told me he was diagnosed with Waldenstroms Macroglobuinemia. Even though my heart felt for he and his family, I knew that he would triumph in his battle. I also knew that he would touch so many people along the way and make a deep and meaningful impact on the disease.
We recently met up in NYC. He shared the chronicles of his journey and fundraisers. I instantly realized that his vision aligned perfectly with that of tummydrops. Going forward, tummydrops plans to donate to Ryan's endeavors in addition to other people and companies who want to make the world a healthier & happier place.
Please read a word from Ryan below.
Thank you again for your support of tummydrops and for people like Ryan.
Did you know that the FDA’s (Federal Drug Administration) definition of a rare disease is one that affects 200,000 or fewer people?
With only 1,500 newly diagnosed patients in the US each year, Waldenstroms Macroglobulinemia (WM) is very rare. But, every one of us counts.
WM is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma where immune cells that help make antibodies misbehave. It is slow-growing blood cell cancer. It can usually be kept under control over a long time using drugs like chemotherapy. But, it is not curable.
The disease typically affects the elderly. But I was diagnosed when I was 35 (five years ago). My son had just been born and I was still of the opinion that I was invincible. I was diagnosed at the most advanced stage. The misbehaving cells had taken over my bone marrow and left me incredibly anemic. I could barely walk up a flight of stairs! I received chemotherapy for six months and had an excellent response.
Recently, my WM cells resurfaced, and I have started treatments again. This time, I'm only taking pills and not harsh chemotherapy. Research has improved the treatment THAT much over the past five years.
The next step is to find a cure-and that can only be achieved through more research.
I have organized two fundraisers so far totaling over $20,000 for research in this under-studied disease. Thanks tummydrops for adding to the research funding! Every little bit helps.
To learn more or donate, go to www.iwmf.com