MMRF RACE FOR RESEARCH
Meet Allan Osborne
MMRF Race for Research: Boston 5K Walk/Run
Posted: March, 2014
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is delighted to recognize Allan Osborne, as the MMRF Spirit of Hope honoree at the 2014 MMRF Race for Research: Boston 5K Walk/Run.
Allan first experienced multiple myeloma as a bystander twenty years prior to his own diagnosis. Stanley Wells, the husband of Allan’s close friend Joyce, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and sadly passed a few months later. In November 2008, shortly after retiring as principal of Snug Harbor School in Quincy, MA, Allan found out that he, too, had multiple myeloma. Allan was devastated but quickly learned that the research and treatment landscape changed dramatically in those twenty years. Allan and his wife, Deb, discovered the MMRF and realized the treatments Allan had been given, which eventually led to his remission, were due to the work of the MMRF.
Allan and Deb wanted to get involved and more importantly help the research move forward. They decided to participate at the MMRF Race for Research: Boston 5K Walk/Run. Team Osborne formed in 2010 and then was later renamed Team Snug Harbor to honor Allan’s school colleagues who have participated at every event to support their friend and former principal. Since then, the team has grown to include more friends and family members, Deb’s colleagues from the Macy School in Bellingham and fellow patients that Allan has met from the Multiple Myeloma Patient and Caregiver Education Group at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Every year, Allan humbly wears his race T-shirt that designates him as a multiple myeloma patient. “The patient T-shirts at the race are so special. Those who wear them are living proof that our efforts have paid off, and inspire hope in those who have recently been diagnosed,” shared Allan. “I look forward to the day when the MMRF has to come up with a shirt of another color to designate those of us who have been cured.”
Allan is deeply committed to helping those like himself who face the challenges of multiple myeloma. Throughout his active involvement in the MMRF CoMMunity Gateway, One-on-One program (DFCI), and Dana Farber’s Cancer Connect community, Allan has met and mentored many people living with myeloma. Through these support networks he is able to use his experience as a multiple myeloma patient to help others who are facing the complex issues associated with their diagnosis and treatment.
“In 2011, I proudly crossed the finish line with a fellow patient, Cheryl, who had recently undergone a stem cell transplant.” Allan said. “Unfortunately, Cheryl relapsed and passed away shortly before the 2012 race. This is why we walk.”
Team Snug Harbor has consequently adopted a meaningful motto: “We walk for those who can’t.” This motto was especially significant at the 2013 race, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. With the victims and all myeloma patients in mind, Allan and his team are committed and will always walk for those who cannot, with the hope and expectation that a cure will soon be found.
Allan and his wife Deb at the Dana Farber Society Dinner at Fenway Park, 2012
Allan and his friend Joyce standing in front of the Team Snug Harbor Tent at the 2013 race
Team Snug Harbor, 2013 MMRF Race for Research: Boston 5K
Allan being greeted at the 2013 finish line by Jenny Pettit of the MMRF
Allan with fellow patients Ken and Cecille and Wally the Green Monster