Geraldine Ferraro’s Heroic Life and Battle with Multiple Myeloma

Update: Mar 26, 2011. We just learned that Geraldine Ferraro succumbed to Multiple Myeloma after a 13 yr long battle.

Geraldine Ferraro, was the first female Vice Presidential candidate representing a major American political party. She is an author, attorney and a Democratic Party politician. She also served as a US ambassador the UN Commission on Human Rights and served on Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign when she ran for president in 2008. She’s inspired millions of Americans  and was one of the first women to help bring other women into the US political system.

In 1998, she was also diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Ferraro had felt unusually tired at the end of her senate campaign and in November of that year, was given the diagnosis. In time, Ferraro became a frequent speaker on the disease, and an avid supporter and honorary board member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Though initially given only three to five years to live, by virtue of several new drug therapies and a bone marrow transplant, she has beaten the disease’s Stage 1 survival mean of 62 months by a factor of two. Although she is not in remission, and her health has deteriorated, her multiple myeloma is managed through the approval of new treatments, and through adjusting her treatments.

Geraldine Ferraro is a heroic woman because of her accomplishments and because she is winning the battle against multiple myeloma. Thanks to the MMRF and clinical research, Geraldine is a living example of the transition of what was once a fatal disease into a chronic one. Eventually, the goal, as with all cancers, is to cure it.

When asked what she has to say about this, she offered the following advice –

“Research, research, research.  If you spend enough money and if you have enough doctors working on [multiple myeloma], it’s not luck, it’s investment.”

When Geraldine was diagnosed, 4 major multiple myeloma drugs had not yet been FDA approved, one of them including Velcade.  Although her health is deteriorated, thanks to these drugs, she is still able to lead a relatively normal life as reported in this 2010, Crain’s article.

Here is an MSNBC video of her shot a few years ago, chronicling her experience with multiple myeloma:

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Geraldine is an example of the life saving benefit of clinical research. If you or someone you know suffers from multiple myeloma, please, visit the MMRF’s clinical trials site today and look for a trial, you may not only help your self, but tens of thousands of others who suffer from multiple myeloma.

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7 thoughts on “Geraldine Ferraro’s Heroic Life and Battle with Multiple Myeloma

  1. Another Myeloma survivor who has transformed the landscape for myeloma treatments has been Kathy Guisti, the Founder of the MMRF. After being diagnosed with Myeloma in late 1990s, not only did she beat the survival means but also created the MMRF !

    Hats off two both these awesome ladies!

  2. She is an inspiration to a number of people that she might not even know. May her strength and determination help others to cope up with their condition. Lets hope more people share her faith in the power of research and the importance of clinical trials. God Bless !!

    • 1884! and still no woman VP or president! US seems far behind than even developing countries !! and i hope that the first to be elected is not Palin or her gang of loud mouths like Michele Bachman

  3. @NoPalin, we women and the culture we are part of have a ways to go. But we’ll get there. It is an exciting time to be a women isn’t it? I feel the future on our shoulders to be the greatest most inspired and inspiring human beings we can be 🙂

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