James (Jim) Bond, a retired CPA, was diagnosed with stage III multiple myeloma more than 25 years ago. Jim has been married to his wife Kathleen for 46 years, and together they have two adult sons and three grandchildren. In 1992, when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, he was told that with treatment he would live two to three years. Over the course of 10 years, he has received a variety of chemotherapy drugs, and four stem cell transplants. Two were autos and two were allos.
By 2002, his cancer was gaining ground. Consultations with Dr. Phil Greipp of the Mayo Clinic led Jim to a promising clinical trial for a new drug called PS341, now known as Velcade. He learned that Dana-Farber was enrolling patients, so he called Dr. Paul Richardson, the clinical investigator. Dr. Paul returned the call right away and asked two questions: "Can you move to Boston for nine months?" and "How soon can you get here?" Jim’s answers were "Yes" and "Tomorrow morning." Within two weeks after he started the clinical trial, under the care of Dr. Richardson and his superb research nurse Deborah Doss, the dangerously high-level protein in his blood was practically gone, the swelling in his legs was down, he could eat again, and the fever had disappeared. Jim had minimal effects and continued to work full-time from Boston.
Jim returned to Dana-Farber in 2004 and entered another clinical trial led by Dr. Richardson that was studying the activity of lenalidomide. The drug, later called Revlimid and approved by the FDA, produced another remission.
In 2012, he was diagnosed with treatment-related AML, which resulted in his fourth stem cell transplant. But, his transplant team at the Seidman Cancer Center of University Hospitals of Cleveland was not confident he could survive this fourth transplant. Jim was able to change their mind when he explained 2 months earlier he cycled 328 miles in 4 days in the American Cancer Society Pan Ohio Hope Ride. His wife, Kathleen, founded and co leads this amazing event that saved Jim’s life by changing the transplant team’s mind about his ability—both physical and mental—to survive the transplant, which he did.
Both his myeloma and AML has been in remission since 2013. For the past 11 summers, Jim has bicycled in the Pan Ohio Hope Ride, POHR.org, a four-day bicycle tour to raise awareness for the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodges, where cancer patients can stay for free while being treated at centers away from home. He plans to ride again next summer. One take-away from Jim’s story is that in the face of adversity, the right attitude and purpose can make a tremendous difference. You can reach Jim at [email protected]