Boston 5K Walk/Run
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is delighted to recognize David Boudreau as the MMRF Spirit of Hope Honoree at the 2015 MMRF Team for Cures Boston 5K Walk/Run.
David Boudreau is a husband, father, grandfather, friend and is the 2015 Spirit of Hope Honoree. David has his picture hanging in Hudner Oncology Clinic at St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts because he is a multiple myeloma survivor. Like many, his story of battling cancer has not been easy. He has had many struggles and setbacks that this disease has brought him. In spite of this he stands strong, has never given up, and continues to fight. He is not only seen as a cancer survivor but more importantly a face of hope for so many.
In November of 2009, at the young age of 57 David was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. David and his family’s world as they knew it had irrevocably changed. How could a man who looks so healthy have this awful disease?
When the family found out their father had multiple myeloma his eldest daughter, Lisa, was 7 months pregnant with his first grandchild. As they sat together as a family that night being scared of the future and what it had to hold for him he promised her one thing. He promised her he would take his grandchild fishing and teach him or her the things he had taught his children.
As the months progressed, David followed up closely with doctors from Dana Farber and also at the Hudner Oncology Clinic. He was eligible to participate in a research study which he did but as time went on his numbers were still dropping and his joints and bones were hurting badly. Despite the pain he still found the strength to wake up every morning, put his boots on and walk out the door to go to work.
On October 29th, 2013 the time had come for David to receive his autologous stem cell transplant. Nothing could have prepared the Boudreau family to watch him go through this. As they dropped him off that day they left him alone in a small room which he would reside in for the next 30 days and the only way to visit him was to wear a mask and gloves. The side effects from this procedure depleted his body of energy but not his mind or spirit. When he could not get out of bed some days and was too sick to even talk on the phone he always found a way to contact his family and tell them he was getting better. His family never knew how much pain he was in during those days in the hospital because he would never let that get to him. He would always speak of the future and he was thankful for what he had. Surrounded by pictures and letters from family he knew he was not alone. He would tell his daughter Lisa he was thankful to be waking up every day even if it was in a small hospital room.
When our David was able to leave the hospital he wanted his life to return back to normal as much as possible. One aspect of this for him was going back to work as soon as he could. Nothing was going to stop him from supporting his family. Soon after being home he requested permission from his doctors to go back to work early. To say that David is a dedicated worker is an understatement. He could have stayed home due to his diagnosis but he is not the type of man to let even multiple myeloma keep him down for too long. As soon as he was back to work he was also back in action in other aspects of his life making sure his family was happy; taking care of them, fixing things around the house and changing the oil in their cars. Their upside down world was slowly becoming normal again.
David has taken part in the MMRF 5K in Boston since his diagnosis. As a family they come together to raise money in hope that one day there will be a cure. Because of their father’s hard work they always exceed the Team D.A.D. goal, raising more money each year.
David works hard and enjoys his life now more than ever. Through all of this he has stuck to his promise. His first grandchild, Jonathan, is now five years old. He takes him fishing in the summers, brings him to Home Depot and teaches him how to fix things around the house. Not only has he been able to keep his promise to Lisa but he has been able to do much more than ever imagined, including walking his youngest daughter, Rachel, down the aisle and being there for the birth of his two other grandchildren, James and Ella. Its experiences like these that make him truly grateful to be alive.
The MMRF works tirelessly to find a cure to extend the lives of patients just like David, and is proud to honor him as the 2015 recipient of the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award, given at every MMRF 5K Walk/Run event to a person who inspires hope and shows extraordinary commitment to the MMRF. David has touched the myeloma community with his strength of character, his kindness, and his embodiment of hope.
Learn more about the Team for Cures 5K Walk/Run Program: www.themmrf.org/5k