I have always been “in shape”. Lifted weights, did mild but effective aerobics, watched what I ate and otherwise maintained a healthy lifestyle. So when I began experiencing back pain (at age 49), I chalked it up to a creeping couch-tater slow-down.

As weeks progressed, the pain became acidic and was incapacitating. After having a CAT-Scan, I was diagnosed: Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma. Suddenly, everything changed. I was initially admitted to a fine orthopedic, standard surgery hospital who recommended a course of treatment but as my condition worsened (couldn’t walk, sit, or lay down without excruciating pain) the docs at this hospital seemed to hedge on starting treatment. Thankfully, my wife called around and was we were introduced to Dr. ‘J’ (Jakobowiak) at the University of Michigan Cancer Center. Not only was Dr. J’s knowledge superior to the initial consulting we received, he went to great lengths to get me admitted into a clinical trial exploring a new treatment for multiple myeloma at t U of M.

It’s been a little over 5 years and a long walk back to an almost normal life. My myeloma levels are at near zero in my quarterly checkups and I am in improved health. No one really has the same experience with this disease, and I was grateful to have gotten into an effective treatment program. I couldn’t say enough good things about Dr. J, the U of M, their staff, and my wife Anita for finding these people who were knowledgeable and determined to find any way possible to help me and many other folks I met undergoing treatment there.

— Aaron J.

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