When retired Echo Bay resident and avid golfer Bob Jach started experiencing blurred vision while on vacation five years ago, he brushed it off and thought nothing of it. But when he couldn’t even swing his golf club days later, he and his wife Linda visited the emergency room where a growth was discovered in Jach’s sigmoid sinus.
After flying back to Canada from Florida and being admitted to Windsor Regional Hospital, several biopsies and radiation treatments diagnosed Jach with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer.
“We were all shocked to be told that Bob had multiple myeloma since other than an eyesight problem, he was in excellent health,” said Linda Jach. “The pain he was experiencing, we attributed to arthritis. That pain was only the beginning, as multiple myeloma bone pain is excruciating.”
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the plasma cells and is the second most common form of blood cancer, a news release from a spokesperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Multiple Myeloma March states. Nine Canadians are diagnosed with multiple myeloma each day.
“In a week, I will have four good days. But, hey, I can last an hour before I need a nap. That’s something!” Jach said in the release. “Bobby actually needs to rest every 15 minutes,” said Linda. “But he never quits. No matter what. That’s his true strength.”
Fast forward five years, Bob Jach and his wife Linda are trying to do their part in fighting for a cure.
The Jachs participate in the annual Sault Ste. Marie Multiple Myeloma March to raise awareness and funds for the disease, which will hopefully lead to a cure.
“We participate in the annual Multiple Myeloma March in the hopes of finding a cure for this terrible disease. The march is the largest fundraiser for Multiple Myeloma Canada research. We also hope to bring awareness of this cancer to the public,” said Linda.
Team Jach participated in the march this year on Sept. 12. The 5-kilometre walk/run was held as a virtual event, with participants completing the march in their own neighbourhoods. Team Jach was comprised of Bob, Linda, their two daughters and four grandchildren, and their goal was to raise $2,000. They ended up raising $4,000. The other Sault Ste. Marie team, "Remission Possible", led by Marion Bentley, raised $2,525 for the cause.
“We would like to thank our friends and family, near and far, for their outstanding support,” said Linda.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to commend Sault Area Hospital and the Cancer Centre Algoma District Cancer Program for the fabulous care and compassion shown always shown to Our Star Patient,” said Linda.
“We believe strongly that a cure is in the foreseeable future.”