Meet Kathy Elsey
The MMRF is exceedingly fortunate and proud to count the Elseys as major supporters, donating nearly $7 million since 2009 in accelerating new therapies to patients and new scientific discovery in pursuit of a cure for multiple myeloma.
The Elseys are motivated by the aggressive approach of the MMRF in battling myeloma, and are inspired by Kathy Giusti’s own personal story. As a fellow entrepreneur, Kathy Elsey understands the importance of innovative strategy, excellent execution, and measurable results that comprise strong business models and sees all of these qualities in the MMRF. “We are so fortunate to be able to give back, and the way the MMRF is moving the science forward to benefit all patients makes sense to us,” says Kathy Elsey.
Both women share a personal investment in the efforts of the MMRF to bring new treatments to patients more quickly, as well as a desire to continue enjoying time with friends and family. Both are highly motivated to ensure that a cure is found.
Kathy Elsey was diagnosed in January 2009 and underwent a stem cell transplant in June of that year. Today, Kathy is doing well and in the summer of 2012 learned that she is in complete remission. Throughout her journey she has had a strong focus on family and in 2012 welcomed her first granddaughter, Lily Kay, and grandson, George and in 2014 another granddaughter, Alice. With her growing family and advances in treatment she is now seeing a future that at the time of her diagnosis she did not think was possible.
Kathy Elsey is very grateful to the doctors that have helped since her diagnosis. Most of all she is deeply appreciative of the continuous support she receives from her husband Bruce who combines the experience of his medical background with endless compassion that makes him a great caregiver. The Elsey family feels blessed that Kathy is in remission and prays daily that a cure will be found for this devastating disease.
Hear more from Kathy Elsey
How has life changed over the last two years, in becoming grandparents, etc., and how, if at all, that has changed their priorities and perspectives?
Life is very busy. You think as your children leave home, you have a chance to catch your breath, but this doesn’t happen. Once I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma things really changed, but life goes on and things get better. Our children got married and we have the blessing of grandchildren. Our priorities become about spending as much times with loved ones and friends as possible. Life is not about accumulating, but about giving to those who need our help. You think of those out there who are struggling, going through what I did, and our hope is that times will eventually be easier for them and their treatments will hopefully become easier too by what we are able to contribute to cancer research. Our goal is to help other patients not have to struggle in the way we did when I was first diagnosed and hopefully someday find a cure.
How (or in what ways) has the MMRF helped you most in the time since you were diagnosed?
We were so thankful for the treatments available to us that we wanted to give back to the MRMF to help more treatments become available for patients in the same situation. We felt a need to give back to all those minds that have created and made available these valuable treatment options for patients. We are so appreciative for what we have received, and we knew the right thing to do was give back in a way that other patients could receive the same options, and hopefully in the near future, cures.
What motivated you to take action in supporting the MMRF and fellow patients?
Being diagnosed and going through the struggle of treatment gives you a sense of what other patients are dealing with. You get the news everyday of someone you know who is diagnosed with cancer, it can be overwhelming. We just wanted to do our part to try to help those that we can. Right now we are fortunately at a time in our life that we can help others. Being connected to the MMRF, you know that things are being done. That’s the big reason why we support. You know things are being done because you are contributing to an organization that has a track record of results and a plan of action to find a cure. It gives me reassurance to know the MMRF is out there fighting for a cure on behalf of all patients.
What has been your greatest source of strength?
Having faith and hope. My faith in God and having hope that there will be a cure someday. That’s what is important to me. That is what gives me strength.
What do you hope the Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer will accomplish?
It is our hope that Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer will bring more people to the realization that there is a cure possible and also inspire them to give to make this possibility a reality. People may think that a cure is out of reach, but the goal of Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer is to give patients hope that there will be a cure. By Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer partnering with the MMRF we know there is always someone out there working around the clock to find a cure.
What advice can you give to others living with myeloma?
My advice to others living with myeloma would be to have hope for a cure and to enjoy the blessings that life brings, because life can be short no matter what. Not just because of cancer, but for all kinds of reasons. Even if you are diagnosed with cancer, there may always be someone out there worse than you, so don’t ever give up hope. Embrace your blessings and try to help those who may be worse off than you, in any and every way that you can.
What message would you like to convey to others fighting myeloma to encourage their support of Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer (and the MMRF)?
My message for those fighting myeloma is to get the word out that there is hope for a cure through the MMRF. We as patients need to be ambassadors and take an active role in the pursuit of a cure. Not to hide our diagnosis, but to be open about it and be beacons of hope for others. Treatments are advancing all the time, patients are living longer, and we feel that we can find cures in our lifetime. We established Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer to help win the fight against cancer on behalf of all cancer patients and we hope you will join us.
Please help us share the Elseys’ important story with all those in your community and spread the word about Precious Cat’s generous support for cancer research to all the cat owners your know!