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The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is delighted to recognize Barbara McCarrick as the MMRF Spirit of Hope Honorees at the 2018 MMRF Team for Cures: San Francisco 5K Walk/Run.This award is presented at every 5K Walk/Run event to a patient, caregiver, or family who inspires hope through their resilience, perseverance and dedication to the MMRF and its mission.
Posted February 2018
Barbara McCarrick was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009 on her 50th birthday. As an occupational therapist in nursing and acute rehab, Barbara was experiencing back and hip pain, which she assumed was work related. In February 2009, a chest CT revealed rib fractures and later following a bone marrow biopsy her diagnosis was confirmed. Her myeloma journey was just beginning and came on exceptionally strong, offering additional obstacles.
Barbara underwent stem cell transplants in September 2009 and in January 2010 at UCSF with Dr. Tom Martin. Barbara remained in good spirits battling this disease with the help of family, friends, doctors, etc., but unfortunately once again was thrown a curveball after relapsing in 2013. She resumed treatment and achieved remission later that fall of 2013.
“Succumbing to obstacles is not an option. I credit my strength with my upbringing. I was raised in a family with faith & love.” – Barbara
Barbara’s story is nothing short of courageous – inspiring hope to everyone facing this disease. This will be her ninth year participating in the MMRF San Francisco 5K. She first heard of the race from her doctor and immediately signed up to walk with her friend for the April 2009 event. At the time she was feeling a whirlwind of emotions trying to process the pain, diagnosis and treatment plan. Since then, Team McCarrick looks forward to a fun day at Marina Green every spring. Over the years, the team has built a wonderful race day tradition of hosting a pot-luck picnic, enjoying the park views, and encouraging each other as they walk and run along the Bay.
Barbara’s involvement with the MMRF isn’t limited to the 5K Walk/Run Program. She is an active participant in the SF Bay Area support group, helping share information and encourage others by talking about the disease, treatments, medications, etc. Given Barbara’s rewarding profession of Occupational Therapy, she is dedicated to helping people live life to the fullest and is adamant about giving back and being a positive role model.
“When I was going through chemo, radiation, surgery, stem cell transplants and hospitalizations, I was the patient. I was experiencing what my clients do.This gave me incredible insight to how their lives change with illness and injury.” – Barbara
Her children follow in her footsteps of setting a good example; her daughter competed in the Santa Barbara ½ Marathon with the MMRF Team for Cures; her sons wear the team’s race t-shirts to educate and promote awareness – they are all extremely proud of their mother.
“I enjoy a very happy, active and healthy remission- made possible by the support of family, friends, an amazing medical team and the tireless efforts of the MMRF to find a cure.” – Barbara
Barbara and her siblings implement this mindset in everything they do, especially caring for their eldest brother, who sadly passed away from lung cancer on February 4, 2018. The family plans to dedicate this year’s race to their brother, Victor, as money raised for one cancer truly helps all. Victor helped care for Barbara when she was sick, visiting her daily in the hospital, being an extremely generous supporter of the MMRF, and most importantly, serving as Barbara’s strength during a difficult journey.
The MMRF works tirelessly to find a cure to extend the lives of patients, and is proud to honor Barbara McCarrick as the 2018 recipient of the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award. Barbara has touched the myeloma community with her strength of character, her kindness, and her embodiment of hope.