Spirit of Hope
Meet Jim Gordon
MMRF Race for Research:
Posted: November, 2012
November 11th will mark Jim Gordon's third year participating in the MMRF Race for Research: Washington, D.C. 5K Walk/Run. Diagnosed in January 2009, Jim spent the next few months learning about the disease and he quickly found the MMRF. Upon discovering the Race for Research program, Jim found there was a way to get involved close to his home near Washington, D.C.. "Since there was a race in my backyard, I decided I should participate as a runner to raise awareness about the disease and raise funds to benefit myself and other patients. I could see that the MMRF has a terrific record of using funds for research and for making its research productive."
Shortly thereafter, Team KISS Myeloma was formed. The name is a nod to kissing myeloma goodbye, and was thought of by Jim's stepson, Holter. The fact that he named the team has special meaning because in April 2010 Holter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Thankfully, Holter is in remission and has a few more months of treatment left; he will be running with the team as he has the last two years.
Jim finds inspiration in his step-son's strength and perseverance, but is also himself an inspiration to so many. Though faced with a cancer diagnosis, Jim has not let cancer change his life. He admits to having made "adjustments" but is still enjoying himself and all that life has to offer. During his chemo treatments, Jim came across the following piece of advice that he found in the Cornell Alumni News quoting a professor in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR):
"Don't compare yourself to what you were (because this will not bring happiness). Don't compare yourself to the people around you (because this will again not make you happy). Rather, simply ask what you can do to make yourself and the people you care about feel as fulfilled and happy as possible."
Jim shares, "Every cancer patient is diminished in some capacity. And everyone who ages faces diminished capacity. I call this 'Words to Live By'. When I get angry with my disease, I reread these words and it reminds me that anger is not the answer."
The team will gather this year, as they always do, around a breakfast of donuts, bagels, Bloody Marys and beers, to celebrate their determination in the face of cancer. He will be walking not only for himself and Holter, but for friends he has lost along the way to multiple myeloma. Jim is grateful that he will be walking alongside his wife and best friend Ann. "She has walked with me every step of the way and has had a tough four years with the men in her life both having cancer. She inspires me daily."
Though Jim was able to run the 5K the first year he participated, last year he had to walk the course on crutches. He is thrilled to be able to walk the course without assistance this year, and he is looking forward to the day when he can run again.
"The last few years my family and I have had too much cancer in our lives and the lives of our friends. We have grown closer and learned a lot about ourselves in this process. So some positives lie in even the worst of situations. I have also obtained a better appreciation for what my friendships and family mean to me."
Team KISS Myeloma
Jim and his wife Ann
Taking a break from snowshoeing in Montana.
Fly fishing success, a beautiful cutthroat trout.