After going to the doctor after experiencing swelling in his knee and coming down with a fever, and following a series of tests, Stoughton's Don Connors found out he had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, his wife, Maria, recounts in an online journal.
"Life is such a roller coaster ride. One minute you are up on top, and the next you are speeding down with your stomach somewhere in your throat wondering how you can possibly survive this ride. I know it's cliche, but honestly it's the only analogy that pops into my head when I think back to how it all transpired," Maria writes.
In an effort to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and to honor her husband, Maria is participating in the Tufts 10K Road Race in Boston on Monday, October 8, as a walking participant and a member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training.
Don, well-known in the Stoughton community for his work with Stoughton Youth Baseball, and as an owner of Dirt Dawg Sports in Canton (along with fellow Stoughton residents Rich Jasmin and T.J. Fisher), was diagnosed last May with Multiple Myeloma, which as Maria explains on her fundraising page, is a blood cancer much like leukemia.
"He is currently receiving treatment through a clinical study at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. This new targeted drug therapy treatment, clinical study and many others like it are helping our loved ones live longer, and fight stronger thanks to the research funded through the LLS," Maria wrote on her fundraising page.
"For those of you who were surprised to hear that Donny has cancer, it's because you have probably seen him around and he looks so good. Or you know he has been working his butt off getting Dirt Dawg Sports off the ground. Well part of the reason is that he is on a clinical trial which uses targeted drug therapy which means he doesn't lose his hair or feel nauseous all the time. This is thanks to research funded by the LLS that we have these new drugs and trials," Maria wrote on her fundraising page.
Maria and Don have three sons, Phil, Kyle, and Jamie, all recent graduates of Stoughton High. After seeing the positive impact the LLS has had for Don and his fight against Multiple Myeloma, she is looking to give back.
"Cancer has touched so many of our lives, and almost every day we are asked to donate to a new fundraiser. If you know me at all, you know I typically don't like to ask people for money. However, when I saw the ad for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training, I knew this was something I had to be a part of," she wrote on her fundraising page.
In her first entry, Maria wrote, "This is my opportunity to give back to the LLS for all of the things they do for people with cancer and their families. People like us, who never expected to be in this situation, yet woke up one day and found life has been forever changed."
She continued, "Thanks to the LLS and their research on targeted drug therapies and new clinical trials, every day there is new hope. And anyone touched by cancer knows that you become all about hope..."
You can read more about Maria's journey and donate to the cause by clicking here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/ma/thp10k4w12/mconnorjwi