Race for Research Spotlight

Meet Team Toby

MMRF Race for Research: San Francisco 5K Walk/Run

Team Toby's Story:

Posted: April, 2013

The MMRF is privileged to recognize Team Toby and captain Jillian Cummings in this week’s Race for Research Spotlight for the 2013 MMRF Race for Research: San Francisco 5K Walk/Run.

Jillian’s mother, Laura Toby, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in March 2007. Laura, determined to fight with all her might, participated in her first MMRF Race for Research San Francisco race just one month after her diagnosis. She and her very good friends Lisa Considine and Mindy Rauch, also battling multiple myeloma, eventually formed Team UCSF. The mighty trio encouraged many of their family members, friends, and co-workers to join the fight against myeloma at the San Francisco Race each year and they raised critical funds for research.

Sadly, Mindy, Lisa and Laura have succumbed to this terrible disease. Mindy lost her battle on December 29, 2011. Lisa and Laura both passed within weeks of each other this year – Lisa on February 27th and Laura on March 25th.

Jillian and the Toby family have pledged to honor Laura’s legacy and to continue the fight for all those who have been affected by multiple myeloma. Jillian says, “No one should have to lose someone they love to this disease. A cure needs to be found.” Team Toby was formed and dozens of family and close friends have committed to walk at the race this year on April 7th, which is the day after Laura’s funeral. Team Toby is determined to raise $20,000 for the MMRF and with a week to go until race day, they are almost at that goal!

Throughout her long battle, Laura underwent one stem cell transplant and benefitted from four drug therapies, which were made available through the efforts of the MMRF and its partners. Despite her numerous hospital visits, Laura always kept a positive mindset. When Laura went in for her transplant, she told her loved ones to think of her as a caterpillar going into her cocoon. She would emerge as a beautiful and healthy butterfly.

On April 7th, all members of Team Toby will be wearing butterflies as a tribute to Laura’s magnificent spirit. Be sure to think of Laura and all those we have lost to multiple myeloma when you see those dazzling butterfly wings flutter in the wind. There is still work to be done and Team Toby has resolved to keep fighting so that one day, there will be a cure.

» Support Team Toby

» Learn more about the MMRF Race for Research program

» See all MMRF events