Cynthia Chmielewski is a "Jersey Girl.” She was born and raised in the Trenton area and attended college at Rutgers University where she pursued a degree in Psychology and Elementary/Special Education. Upon her graduation from college she was fortunate enough to secure her first teaching position and immediately fell in love with her chosen profession. Cynthia continued teaching for 28 years until sheet retired in 2009 after her Stem Cell Transplant failed to put her into remission. She is married to her husband John and has a beautiful daughter named Candace.
Cynthia was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in July 2008 after suffering for two years with debilitating back pain which was wrongly attributed to degenerative disc disease. Unfortunately her induction therapy stopped working after a few cycles. Cynthia proceeded with a Stem Cell Transplant which failed to put her into remission. Depressed and scared she continued her fight using several of the available novel agents. Fortunately these novel therapies worked slowly, but steadily for her. Cindy is now in a very good partial remission and continues treatment with a maintenance therapy regime. She enjoys an excellent quality of life.
Cynthia loved teaching and was named Who's Who Among American Educators and Teacher of Year. Throughout her career Cynthia held positions as Math Facilitator, Science Curriculum Coordinator, Student Council Advisor, and Coach. She was a mentor to several new teachers and a cooperating teacher to many student teachers.
Now that she is retired she is using her passion for education to teach a new group of "students" - myeloma patients and their caregivers. Cynthia is on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Multiple Myeloma Support where she is in charge of the Patient Education Library and Patient Advocacy. She also mentors myeloma patients through the LLS's First Connection and the Scott Hamilton CARES Fourth Angel program. Cynthia speaks at support groups encouraging patients to be active participants in their healthcare. She also tweets about myeloma @myelomateacher, and participates in several online support communities.