Spirit of Hope
Meet Billy Levine
MMRF Race for Research:
Posted: October, 2012
On a crisp fall day in November, 2011, over 100 people gathered at Team Billy’s tent at the MMRF Race for Research: Atlanta 5K Walk/ Run. The largest team by far, Team Billy successfully raised over $31,000 to support next-generation multiple myeloma research and eventually lead to a cure. The pictures of the group gathered there on that clear November morning show hundreds of smiling faces ready for the day and happy to be together; happy to be able to support their friend, father, husband, co-worker – Billy Levine.
Less than two months earlier, Billy received the shocking news that he had multiple myeloma. At age 41, and relatively healthy, Billy was sent reeling from his diagnosis. He had cancer, one that he had never even heard of before. Taking an active approach to his diagnosis, Billy immediately connected with top doctors and with the MMRF. His family mobilized immediately: Just a few weeks later, his sister participated in the Boston Race for Research 5K, and just a little over a month later, Team Billy made its premiere appearance at the Atlanta race.
Since the day of his diagnosis, Billy has been an active supporter of the MMRF, not only through the Race for Research program, but also by hosting independent events to benefit the organization. Working with friends and family, Billy has spread the word about the MMRF, and done a great job communicating to so many how the research funded by the MMRF helps make a difference in his fight against multiple myeloma.
A year post diagnosis, Billy is continuing his fight against multiple myeloma, and thankfully winning. As he said, “I do believe this fight is 75% attitude since you can’t control the medicine side. Again, I feel fortunate to have good drugs to help me, have a clear treatment path forward and have had everything move along (relatively) according to plan. That said, I am not sure there was any alternative to keeping my head up and looking forward to take on and beat this disease. This is just who I am.”
It is because of Billy’s amazing positive attitude and his outstanding efforts to raise awareness and take an active role in finding a cure for myeloma that we are honoring Billy with the Spirit of Hope for the MMRF Race for Research: Atlanta 5k Walk/ Run in 2012.
In Hilton Head, SC on Labor Day 2012, first year anniversary of diagnosis – “On an even keel”
Billy and Julie, July 2012, “Conquering Mountains” Billy achieved his goal of attending a conference in Aspen, CO after his stem cell translplant
Billy and Julie at Emory Winship Cancer Center in July 2012
Billy at Emory Winship Cancer Center in January 2012 receiving his stem cell transplant