How Our Myeloma Cancer Support Group Got Started
With courage as his biggest weapon against myeloma, Fred Gloor, with the incredible support of his wife Virginia, had fought valiantly for 12 years against a disease for which there is no cure. It was in 1992 he received a diagnosis of MGUS. Learning that he only had a 25% chance of developing myeloma, Mr. Gloor planned for retirement; a full plate of enjoying life. Just as he retired in 1995 he learned the disease had progressed to myeloma. It was then the battle began in earnest. In the long run, his battle has produced many victories, including the founding of the San Diego Multiple Myeloma Support Group.
In the beginning Mr. Gloor struggled through treatments not knowing one other myeloma patient. After finishing a stem cell transplant treatment in July of 1997, he began attending a support group for patients who had stem cell transplants. It was there that he met two other myeloma patients and the need for a support group dedicated to myeloma became clear. During this same period, Mr. Gloor discovered the IMF and learned that there was no support group in San Diego. The challenge from the IMF to Mr. Gloor was to start a local support group and in his usual courageous manner, he thought “why not?” Mr. Gloor recalls how his life changed when he started the group. He believes myeloma ordained him to help others with this disease in any way possible. Every time he talked with a newly diagnosed patient or family member he gained courage as he helped alleviate their fear and gave them hope. He often quoted a phrase from Dr. Bernie Segal, “there are no incurable diseases, only incurable people.” His straightforward advice to anyone battling the disease was to become an exceptional cancer patient, to be proactive and take control of his or her disease.
In seven short years, with Mr. Gloor leading the charge, the San Diego Myeloma Support Group grew from its initial five members to a very active and well-attended 70-member group. Mr. Gloor believed that without the support group he would not have had the success he had in battling the disease. Thinking back to the beginning, Mr. Gloor recalled how the IMF, by providing information, allows patients to overcome fear and focus on their recovery. Mr. Gloor grew up in San Diego and graduated from Saint Augustine High School. He graduated from the California Maritime Academy, spent three years in the Navy and 30 plus years as a sea going man. Mr. Gloor has sailed most of the Pacific between Alaska to the South Pole, his last 12 years as Master Mariner and Captain of the SS President Harrison.
THE MULTIPLE MYELOMA SUPPORT GROUP OF SAN DIEGO WISHES TO THANK VIRGINIA GLOOR FOR HER CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR THE MULTIPLE MYELOMA CANCER SUPPORT GROUP IN SAN DIEGO.