Marggy and Tom Ells
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The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is delighted to recognize Marggy and Tom Ells of Team FAM as the MMRF Spirit of Hope Honorees at the 2017 MMRF Team for Cures: Philadelphia 5K Walk/Run.
Marggy and Tom Ells
Posted October 2017
Marggy’s husband, Tom, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2012. After his diagnosis, they were in search of information to learn more about the disease and possible treatments and came across the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Tom’s former colleagues from the Janssen division of Johnson & Johnson confirmed for him that the MMRF was an excellent organization that supported awareness, education, and funding for research.
The MMRF became a great resource for them as they dealt with Tom’s diagnosis. Through the MMRF’s website, they discovered that the organization offered multiple educational programs. They attended a Patient Summit in Hackensack NJ, have listened to informative live streaming webinars and have been impressed by the MMRF’s mission to fund the gathering of genetic data from patients as well as new drugs, therapies, and clinical trials. They also felt inspired by the MMRF founder, Kathy Giusti, who has been dealing with the disease for many years and whose passion and success for funding research lends great credibility to the organization.
For the first few years of living with multiple myeloma, Tom only shared his diagnosis with his family and a few close friends. It wasn’t until after a recurrence and the decision to undergo an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant this past winter that he decided to become more public about his disease and raise funds and awareness. The MMRF Philadelphia Walk/Run gave him the perfect platform to do this. Last year, Marggy and Tom registered for the 5K and created Team FAM. FAM stands for Fighting Against Myeloma but it also stands for the wonderful family of relatives and friends who have supported them during this journey.
“Strength has come from the daily interaction we have with our friends and family who offer us continuous support, from the stories of others facing similar circumstances, and from the knowledge that there are scientists and clinicians working diligently to find better treatments and ultimately a cure for multiple myeloma.” – Marggy Ells
After Team FAM’s first Team for Cures 5K last year, they hosted a brunch following the event. This was a great way for their team to enjoy being with one another and for them to thank everyone again for their generous support. They plan to continue this tradition at this year’s race and at 5K’s in the coming years!
“While neither of us have a desire to be in the limelight, we would like to use this opportunity to become more involved with the MMRF, joining thousands of others to do our part in fighting multiple myeloma. There is still no cure, however the MMRF has done a fabulous job in accelerating treatment options.” – Tom Ells
The MMRF works tirelessly to find a cure to extend the lives of patients and we are proud to honor Marggy and Tom Ells of Team FAM as the 2017 recipient of the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award, given at every MMRF 5K Walk/Run event to a person or team who inspires hope and shows extraordinary commitment to the MMRF. The Ells have touched the myeloma community with their strength of character, their kindness, and their embodiment of hope.