Nikki Vigrass’ mum Ann Woodward was diagnosed with myeloma five years ago and she has been undergoing pioneering treatment at the city’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital for the past two years.
Nikki was so grateful for the care doctors and nurses gave to her mum that she decided to use her energy to organise a fundraising race to raise money for a research project which aims to develop a cure for myeloma.
She said: “Around ten years ago my mum started suffering with knee pain. After being referred to the osteoporosis clinic, she was given tests which discovered paraproteins – abnormal antibodies – in her blood, which led to a diagnosis of myeloma.”
She added: “When she first told us it was upsetting, we had never heard of it so had no idea what the treatment was going to be. At first she was just monitored, and had regular tests to determine what her paraprotein levels were.
“But after two years her levels increased, meaning she had to receive treatment – for all of us that was worse than the initial diagnosis.
“Most of the time, mum is very positive, but understandably when she was having her treatment she was very anxious and just wanted the whole thing to be over and done with. Both she and my dad, (name) took every day step by step without looking too far ahead and my sister, Sarah and I were there throughout.
“After receiving a stem cell transplant in May 2015, mum is now in remission and is on a maintenance plan. She speaks so highly of her consultants and the care she receives, so we decided to raise money for Sheffield Hospitals Charity to say thank you, and to help find a cure for myeloma.”
Symptoms of myeloma include bone pain, fractures, fatigue, anaemia, kidney damage, infections and hypercalcaemia. Treatment is aimed at disease control, relieving the complications and symptoms it causes and extending and improving the quality of patients’ lives. Dr Andrew Chantry, haematology consultant at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and his team of researchers have been working on the ‘anti-myeloma virus project’, to combat myeloma.