publication date: May. 1, 2015

Mike Katz, 61, Advocate, Educator


The cancer field is filled with advocates—advocates for research into specific forms of malignancy, advocates for access to care for patients with limited resources, advocates for pediatric cancers—you name it. Many of these people are motivated, passionate, determined, and successful in moving their specific agendas forward in the interests of patients, clinicians, researchers, and others.

But even within this motivated and passionate group of people, Mike Katz was a special individual who stood out. And he explained it this way:

“I’ve always chosen to live my life as if I didn’t have cancer. I just face forward and try to do everything I want to do, working around symptoms and treatment side effects,” he said. “I’ve been a patient for so long, I’m much better now at managing those things.”1

Diagnosed in 1990 at just 37 years of age with an iliac plasmacytoma that was causing weakness in his right leg and a consequent limp, he wasn’t initially told in any detail about the myeloma. His doctors were focused on the orthopedic problem and (again in Mike’s own words), “with the Internet still in its infancy, there were no online patient support groups or myeloma advocacy organizations to turn to for information.”

It was 18 months before Mike’s myeloma began to progress and he learned that an allogeneic bone marrow transplant (ABMT) might be wise. In 1992 myeloma was associated with a survival time of three to five years, and the overall mortality rate for … Continue reading 41-17 Mike Katz, 61, Advocate, Educator

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