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Meet Archana More Sharma, MMRF 2024 Walk/Run: Los Angeles Spirit of Hope Honoree


How did your team get involved with the MMRF?  

I was diagnosed in July 2022 with multiple myeloma, and it was a shock to everyone. I had been having some back pain that was worsening, and I finally ended up in the emergency room. That evening in the ER after hearing this diagnosis, I was admitted and began the fight for my life. After surgery, radiation and starting chemo, I was discharged in August 2022, and I came across MMRF in the pile of resources given to me. I went online to check out their work and immediately wanted to be a part of their activities. Our family and friends signed up for the walk, and our team, the Myelominators, was able to raise over $7,000. We wanted our name to be somewhat lighthearted but reflect our commitment that myeloma cells, or Myelomans as we were calling them, must DIE! It was a bite off of The Terminator movie, which involved a lot of killing—in our case, we wanted all myeloma cells to be annihilated!

Why did your team choose to participate in the MMRF Walk/Run?

This is somewhat addressed in the question above, but team members wanted to show support for me and our family after hearing about my diagnosis. We had colleagues, friends, and family join us to show that I wasn’t alone—that they cared about my family and were sending their positive thoughts to me as I was fighting this cancer. Team members also wanted to raise money for this important cause, not just for me, but for all the families affected by MM. The new treatments mean life or death for so many patients, and anything we can do to advance this cause must be done.

The Spirit of Hope is given to “individuals/groups who inspire hope and show extraordinary commitment to the MMRF.” What does being given the award mean to you and your team?

On a personal level, this award has given me a tremendous psychological boost. Five months after diagnosis, I received a stem cell transplant in December 2022, and it seemed to be a success. I finally had the headspace to further educate myself about this disease. During this time, I watched MMRF webinars and read articles. Despite being in remission (or so I thought!), I wanted to continue to support MMRF in their efforts to fund myeloma research. I read so much about the advances in long-term outcomes and improved quality of life for MM patients due to the advances in medications, treatments, and so forth, all of which came from research activities that MMRF funds. Therefore, I gathered friends and family again for the 2023 MMRF Walk. In addition, my husband (and team member), Vik, had decided to set a goal of participating in Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma in 2025. Moving Mountains required a higher financial commitment, and we were ready to take that next step to an organization that was dear to our hearts.

Coincidentally, I first heard of Dr Amrita Krishnan’s name from a MMRF patient webinar in the summer of 2023. She is a world-renowned expert on relapsed/refractory MM at City of Hope. As fate would have it, I relapsed in November 2023, and after treatment from December to February 2024, I was referred to Dr. Krishnan for treatment options. Dr. Krishnan recommended CAR-T therapy, and I’m scheduled for this treatment in May 2024. I can firmly say that through their fundraising activities and patient education resources, MMRF has played a meaningful role in guiding my MM journey, especially during this new phase of relapse. I tell all my friends, CAR-T with Carvykti wasn’t even an option in 2022 when I was diagnosed—it was only through research, clinical trials, advocacy with organizations such as MMRF and researchers such as Dr Krishnan that this advance was pushed through and is now available to patients like myself.


How has your team found perseverance in light of obstacles? Please share any stories that have given you strength. 

Persevering is a true challenge. It takes active thought and energy. After discovering my relapse in December 2023, we were all devastated. We were just barely recovering from my diagnosis the year prior. I hadn’t even been in remission for a year. This time, the physical limitations and pain experienced were very significant. The feeling of being overwhelmed was greater than ever because we were monitoring my cancer with labs, and it had quietly converted to a non-secretory form of melanoma, so we had no idea it was back until all the physical symptoms had manifested.

We took strength in our family, friends, and supporters who kept pouring in. Even people we didn’t know or have a relationship with were offering to help. The sense of humanity, compassion, and empathy of so many around us—that brought us tremendous strength. It kept us going day after day.

For me, I meditated on the workings of the universal consciousness. I remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict the future, is to create it.” As a family, we were determined—I would not be a “statistic.” I was creating my outcome. In fact, from a quantum consciousness perspective, I was already healed and cancer free. Embedding these ideologies in my mind, I took one step at a time, one day at a time. This journey is actually filled with love, laughter, joy, and immense pain. Yet, I will persevere. I’m just going through the process—biding time until final success is achieved and I am myeloma free.

From my sister-in-law, Divya, “You are always authentic and real. The strength you’ve demonstrated in these past two years gives me confidence that I can also approach difficult situations with confidence. You are a symbol of toughness beyond many men and women.”

From my brother- and sister-in-law, “Archana has been a tremendous inspiration to us for her unwavering positive attitude through this. She’s a fighter and a winner, and it’s been a privilege to see her triumphs. Keep up the fight; we’re in your corner. Always!”

From a friend (J.R.R. Tolkien), “It’s not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit.”


Does your team have a favorite mantra, quote, lyric that gives you strength?

Fight to Win! FTW!

The MMRF is delighted to recognize Archana More Sharma as the MMRF Spirit of Hope Honoree at the 2024 MMRF Team for Cures: Los Angeles Walk/Run. Donate to “The Myelominators” today to accelerate a cure!

This award is presented at every Walk/Run to a patient, caregiver, or family who inspires hope through their resilience, perseverance, and dedication to the MMRF and its mission.