Featured Patient Family Story

Amy Shehab


Amy with her Mother, Dr. Barbara Ann Patrick

My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in the spring of 2006. As with just about every myeloma and other cancer patient and their families, we were truly taken aback and in disbelief at the news. How could someone so young and healthy, so vibrant and full of endless love and energy be diagnosed with this disease? How could it be our mother?

God's love immediately brought forth the grace and strength my mother and our family needed to move forward.

When we met our mother's oncologist for the first time, we knew God had sent another gift. "Dr. J." was more than an incredibly competent physician; he had an unbelievable gift of compassion and humility. His office and staff offered the same... warmth, strength, compassion, and love.

Multiple Myeloma was a foreign term to us so we began to learn as much as we could. We were given the opportunity to do so through the MMRF. Together with Dr. J. and his staff, the MMRF, and countless doctors, researchers, patients, supporters, etc...we knew we could fight this fight. We were overwhelmed by the number of treatments/protocols and the advancements that had taken place in such a short amount of time. Our hearts and minds were filled with hope, not despair.

Within a few months, our mother was in remission. She had endured back surgery as well, as she had multiple vertebrate fractures due to the myeloma. She had to learn to walk again and regain her strength. We marveled at her grace, strength, and tenacity. Never once did she complain! She triumphed!

January of 2007 my mother received her stem cell transplant. Another miracle of modern medicine. Her success was truly admirable and commendable! At that time, I was training to run a half marathon. I decided to turn the half marathon into a personal fundraiser for the MMRF. Inspired and supported by my family, my husband, and the families and community of the elementary school that I taught at, I raised over $5000.00. I didn't think I could be more elated, until the week before the event. I found out I was expecting!

Five weeks pregnant, $5000.000 raised for the MMRF, and my beautiful, healthy mother waiting for me at the finish line, I knew my family had been blessed with a miracle. Life! I ran for life!

My mother had fully regained her strength and her energy. She was back up and running again! Heading her own educational consulting firm and enjoying every moment with her family and friends, especially her children and her five grandchildren, her personal and professional life was flourishing once again.

My son was born the following February. My mother, my family, and Dr. J. were the among the first to hold our baby boy. We brought our son home from the hospital on my mother's birthday. I knew she had received the greatest gift, the greatest joy, one could ask for... a grandchild. It was my way of thanking her for all that she had done for us... and all that she was to each and every person in her life!

For another 2 1/2 years she continued to live life to the fullest. Her quality of life was always first and foremost, and never in question. She endured numerous treatments, appointments, maintenance protocols, etc... always with her head held high and never a complaint.

My mother passed away in August 2010. She fought an incredible fight with such dignity and strength. The additional time we had with her was a gift due to the efforts of each and every person involved at every possible angle in the fight to find a cure for Multiple Myeloma. It is now our goal, our family's mission, to participate at any level in helping others to endure this fight as well as in finding a cure. We have been so greatly touched by the generosity and genuine love of each person we have met along the way. Our mother's life... now a beautiful story... one that we hope will touch and inspire.

- Amy

 

Barbara and her husband Tim
Son Jim with mother Barbara
Mother and daughter post half-marathon
Amy with her son and mother, Barbara