Chronic back pain became an unexpected cancer diagnosis for an Alberta man who is now organizing a fundraiser for myeloma research.
Scott Beer recalled going to the emergency room four times in 2019 for excruciating back pain. For months he had sought relief through physical therapy and chiropractic treatments, but the pain persisted.
While previous diagnostic tests revealed no cause, on his fourth hospital visit, a doctor noted his weight loss as well as a protruding tumor on Beer’s chest.
The 54-year-old former Calgary finance clerk received a life-changing diagnosis of myeloma, a terminal blood cancer that affects 10 Canadians every day.
This news challenged Beer “physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually,” Beer said in an emailed press release. But a stem cell transplant in early 2020 left him in remission.
Beer is now on maintenance chemotherapy drug to keep his blood cancer in check. Grateful for having “more good days than bad,” he’s regaining his stamina for short hikes and camping. In addition to spending time with his wife and two children, he also volunteers with his son’s Boy Scout troop.
This spring, Beer is also organizing the first-ever multiple myeloma fundraiser.
The Bike to Beat Myeloma ride will take place at Spruce View Hall on May 15 starting at 9:15 am with Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston officiating and welcoming attendees.
Beer hopes scientific advances will allow people with myeloma to live longer and hopefully someday have a cure for the disease. “My oncologist told me it’s not a matter of if you relapse, it’s a matter of when,” he said. “Thank God there are more and more treatment options for patients, our quality of life is better and our life expectancy is longer.
“But we have to keep pushing it and keep looking for a cure.”
The Myeloma Canada Ride: Bike to Beat Myeloma takes place in three Canadian locations. The Red Deer County ride is the only one in Alberta. Cyclists of different levels can participate by choosing between a more leisurely 35km route or a more challenging 75km route.
A virtual ride option is also available for those unable to participate or who wish to create their own cycling challenge.
The national fundraising goal for the ride, including events in Ontario and BC, is $100,000.
“The Red Deer County Myeloma Canada Ride promises to be a fun and fulfilling event… no matter which option you choose. Attendees will have a great time biking along scenic routes alongside other enthusiasts while raising important donations for a good cause,” according to a Myeloma Canada press release.
To register or donate, visit: www.myelomaride.ca.