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Meet Marc Schiff, MMRF 2024 Walk/Run: Scottsdale Spirit of Hope Honoree

How did you get involved with the MMRF?

My involvement with MMRF started in 2019 while I was undergoing my induction therapy. I was at my infusion center for one of my weekly treatments and decided I wanted to do something to help find a cure for Multiple Myeloma. I came up with an idea to create a t-shirt that I could sell to raise money that would be donated to the MMRF. I’m an avid runner and part of a huge Facebook group of runners who I knew would be more than happy to purchase one. I sold the shirts at cost and asked people to add whatever donation they could. I ended up selling 80 shirts and raised $1800. With my company match, $3,600 was donated to the MMRF.

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

I chose the MMRF Walk/Run for several reasons, the most important being that I am a multiple myeloma “survivor” myself. I was diagnosed in April 2019 and underwent a stem cell transplant in November 2020. Knowing that there is no current cure, I want to make whatever difference I can, and participating in the MMRF Walk/Run is one way to do so. I also enlisted fellow runners, friends, and family to participate in person or virtually or to just donate.

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?

I am so humbled to receive this award. Since my diagnosis, I have tried my best to be a role model for other myeloma patients or anyone dealing with similar life-altering diagnoses. I used social media to document my journey to inspire others and instill hope. I continued to run during my induction therapy and made a commitment to myself to run a half marathon within 6 months of my stem cell transplant. I even registered for one a day after my transplant! I lived up to this commitment by running the Glacier Half Marathon in Montana in May 2021. I wanted to show others that you don’t have to be defined by the disease.

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

As I’ve mentioned several times already, I’m an avid runner and have a wonderful community that supports me. One special running friend, Julie Love, who was the same age as me, was diagnosed with glioblastoma a couple of years before my diagnosis. She knew it was a death sentence and was given 18 months to live. Through sheer will, faith, and determination, she survived for 3 years before finally succumbing. Throughout this time, she continued to enter 5K’s and complete them, even when having to use a cane. I ran with her numerous times throughout this period. My first call after getting my diagnosis was to Julie, as I knew she’d have the right words to say. Her story gave me the courage to face my disease with the same strength.

Do you have a favorite mantra, quote, or lyric that gives you strength?

Two quotes give me strength. I wear a bracelet with a metal tag that a friend gave me a few days after my SCT while I was still in the hospital. It says, “Stronger than yesterday.” I’ve only taken it off once in almost 4 years! I tag all my runs with “#strongerthanyesterday.” The other quote is “No Limits.” I borrowed this one from Pat’s Run, a local run in honor of Pat Tillman, a former Arizona State University (my alma mater) and Arizona Cardinals football player who gave up an NFL career to serve his country. Sadly, he was KIA in Afghanistan. I’ve participated in the run for 9 consecutive years, including virtually during COVID. This mantra means so much to me that I got it tattooed on my left calf.

Anything to add?

See link to a story that my running coach published to her social media accounts.

The MMRF is delighted to recognize Marc Schiff as the MMRF Spirit of Hope Honoree at the 2024 MMRF Team for Cures: Scottsdale Walk/Run.

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.