Spirit of Hope
Meet Barry and Ellie Samson
MMRF Race for Research:
The Samson's Story:
Barry and Ellie Samson are among the MMRF's most committed supporters.
After 33 years of marriage, the Samsons adapted to Barry’s initial diagnosis in 2002 with a sense of dignity and grace that family and friends remark on to this day. In the years since, they have come to exemplify active MMRF constituents doing their part to make a difference on every level. Perhaps most notably, the Samsons co-chaired the 2008 MMRF Laugh for Life: St. Louis, a comedy event celebrating life through laughter. The Samsons have also funded a Research Fellow Award, attended and contributed to two MMRF Fall Galas, and shared their personal stories with other patients and caregivers at an MMRF Clinical Insights event. In the spring of 2011, the Samsons eagerly embraced the opportunity to form a team to participate in the very first MMRF Race for Research: St. Louis 5k Walk/Run.
The drive to get involved and make a difference extends throughout the family – the couple’s sons, Joel and Joshua, ran the Boston Marathon® with the MMRF PowerTeam in 2009. “Running 26.2 miles is nothing compared to the fight our father is waging, but we are constantly looking for ways to continue the family’s effort to raise awareness and money for this important cause”, said Joel Samson.
Dr. Ravi Vij, who treats patients including Barry at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, will be the Honorary Chair at the 2012 Race for Research St. Louis. “The Samsons cannot be more deserving of this honor,” said Dr. Vij. “Barry and Ellie’s outstanding efforts to support multiple myeloma research have helped MMRC Member Institutions nationwide advance innovative clinical trials of today’s most promising new and combination therapies.”
While Barry and Ellie have been consistently united in their support of the MMRF, their personal stories are unique. Barry’s is the story of a physician who has found his natural ability to empathize with patients being tapped in an entirely new way. Ellie’s is the story of a wife whose whole life was changed after her husband’s diagnosis, but not her focus on what’s most important.
Kathy Giusti with Ellie and Barry Samson at the 2008 MMRF Investor's Summit
Ellie and Barry at the 2011 MMRF St. Louis Race for Research 5K Walk/Run
Barry (far right) with son Joel and Joel's wife Jesssica checking out auction items at the 2008 MMRF Laugh for Life: St. Louis
Josh and Joel Samson post Boston Marathon in 2009