Surviving Multiple Myeloma Since 1992

When diagnosed with stage 3 myeloma in 1992, an oncologist gave him 3 years to live. Jim asked more questions that led to a new oncologist & hospital where he had three stem cell transplants SCTs which allowed him to survive for 10 years. But, in 2002, his doctor advised hospice, since “no more treatments were available,” the doctor said.

Instead, Jim drew on second-opinion information, and they relocated 600 miles for a clinical trial, that saved his life and lead to the experimental drug’s FDA approval. Jim’s been in 6 clinical trials. In 2013, Jim developed treatment for leukemia and required a fourth SCT transplant. He’s been in remission from both leukemia and multiple myeloma ever since. Jim asked Kathleen what people do when they don’t have the resources to relocate for needed cancer treatments. Kathleen, a longtime American Cancer (ACS) volunteer leader, said the ACS has over 30 Hope Lodges where patients and caregivers stay for free. 

Exercise helps him survive his incurable cancer

This led to Kathleen founding and leading an ACS bike ride to raise awareness and money for Hope Lodges — even though neither of them cycled or even owned bikes. She named it the Pan Ohio Hope Ride, a 4-day, 328-mile bike ride across scenic Ohio. That first year, Jim trained in the months leading up to the POHR.

Before it took place, a TV reporter asked one of Jim and Kathleen’s sons, Bob, if he thought his dad could complete the ride. “I don’t know if my dad will make it or not, but I’ll say this about my dad: When dad says he’s going to do something, he’ll do it,” Bob said. And Jim did — that year and for the next 12. Jim believes daily exercise helps him survive his incurable cancer.

Share hope with others

Through, speaking engagements in 47 states & 4 foreign countries, and Jim’s book, “The Man in the Arena: Surviving Multiple Myeloma Since 1992,” the Bonds have made it a priority to share hope with others. The book’s profits go to charity. Each additional day has brought gifts that Jim didn’t think he would get when he was first diagnosed: watching their two sons get married; welcoming three grandchildren; surprising Kathleen with a seventieth birthday party & family reunion; and taking a golf trip to Scotland with his older son, Jim.

“Being more aware of my own mortality makes me more appreciative and not anything for granted,” Jim says.

  Jim at one of 13 Pan Ohio Hope Ride ( recognition dinners

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