WEEI>On Demand>>MFB - Matt Blennau, with Dr. Ken Anderson

MFB - Matt Blennau, with Dr. Ken Anderson

Aug 20, 2014|

Matt was hospitalized in 2013 with pneumonia, an illness he kept battling. After another round of antibiotics, he felt better, but the blood work came back and told his care team he had multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. He started a clinical trial: 8 cycles of a 3-drug combination, with the option to potentially have a stem cell transplant of his own stem cells for later. As of July 2014, Matt is off of the cycles of treatment and now on maintenance therapy. He's staying on 1 of the drugs, an oral medication that he can do at home; does blood work once a week locally and then goes in to see Dr. Anderson once a month. Matt is married to his wife of 11 years, Carolyn, and they have three children: 4- and 6-year old boys, and a 9 year old girl. Dr. Anderson has helped shape new ways of treating multiple myeloma over the past 10 years - it has gone from a death sentence to being more of a chronic disease.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

11 o'clock hour and -- we've got one of the best in the world when it comes to fighting cancer with this right now. Here at the Fenway Park studios. First of all I -- welcome in now Matt went down that is 37 a multiple myeloma a blood cancer survivor from Westwood. And -- is joined by doctor Ken Anderson there there's no one better in the business when it comes to fighting this specific. Disease. Christian this guy right -- wheel house here doctor Anderson is a huge patch and in fact I remember that doctor Anderson is one of the first doctors I met. When my dad became president of the Dana Farber cancer of the Pittsburgh family -- rate that's and we are remember right. We first met the day that the patriots. Ended up. Completing their undefeated season right. -- -- -- Yes and your huge pats and he could probably even remember when Christian was starring is tied it when Mike Vrabel that's a deal for us touchdowns. In the end zone. He remembers he spent a lot of our heroes for a lot you're rooting for Christian estate and the formation so he can catch those touched allies. Well it's good seeing you again in Africa. Correct me if I'm wrong because. I might have some details Fuzzy on this but am I right when it's Iran Burton the first patriots draft choice ever had the same disease that Matt had. Right on that absolutely true Ron Burton was the first New England Patriots actually Boston patriots. Ever. Having been on American college and he was all pro for the patriots. It turns out after having a wonderful football career wonderful. Career in terms of helping underprivileged kids and others. He went on to it to bomb. Get to multiple myeloma. Which is a bone marrow cancer. And I actually cared for him for many years. He lived about five to six years and at that time that was really -- reflected much progress. But why we're so excited about what you -- doing at Dana Farber. Is this Jimmy Fund held on and thank you so much for doing it. Has helped in this particular cancer now to extend the survival multi fold. As compared to when Ron came along so now while moments of chronic illness and most people can have a normal life span. It didn't happen honestly before we all started meeting like this every year to -- take me through it from hold on did you find out. So back in November 3 -- on either team. Britain's birthday is Friday night -- recovered a little bit from -- has birthday on Saturday morning. Felt great. And all of a sudden symptoms. Of what I thought were like Lou. -- mom com. Later that evening I went to. BR. Couple days later got diagnosed with -- fifth or sixth ammonia. Second time I was hospitalized and ammonia. And a couple days later doctor -- and told me that you know there's some good news some not so good news at the -- is cleared out really well. Butts beat. We found out what's causing promote. He match that I had multiple myeloma and I -- Graduated with a biochemistry degree so it kinda you know I've heard of it but. Didn't really know anything about it so it's a -- to my system for sure. So open and honestly you have some education on the top we don't know everything that goes that's enforce -- and know what the treatment that may or may not be. But just three beautiful children a wife to -- two for eleven years like I I see walking and I have five kids and I can't even imagine. Won't be going through my head based on the unknown. Can you share that put us. Yes sure. Thanks by the way the news they're great. The and -- this. First thing that went through my -- honestly was this sucks this is going to be tough but it's. If anybody's gonna have it this is you know this is going to be -- him. I've had you know smaller things obviously cancers but it's I'm a fighter I can just keep battling. And I think that area picked up or is on the Internet but that data far Grozny the area just recently moved from California. And -- and northern -- Minutes up yet at McDonald's didn't have been -- -- the 51 they could donate today and you know. And so I think that you know my laptop and found the barber knew little bit now doctor Anderson. Immediately you know that's an -- bit patient hitters. And us weekly or doctor's office. Being treated and given the utmost confidence that. Misses this is a beautiful. Article about. Talk due to kids. Anywhere what's -- definitely. So we we wait that. About it be weeks or so. It's right before Christmas. Tom is a tough decision is they're young and all different ages. It takes little else to take more than voters here he's handled it close but so we figured we need to be open with them. And let them help me along the way. As much as it says. They've -- strong future. Doctor Anderson it's been said innumerable times we're not gonna wake up tomorrow morning despite however much money we raise here today and the headlines to read on the Boston Herald Boston Globe. Cure for cancer cancer is a disease that has 500 different forms that exist. And it seems like justice for instance in Matt's case and what you said with Ron Burton. This was a kind of cancer that many years ago if people didn't donate back in the sixties to the Jimmy Fund. Ron Burton wouldn't of lasted on this earth. As long as he did. Same thing with that people didn't donate back in the sixties. Matt is three kids may not be here right now because that money helped create the science that kept him alive today. And similarly there's one of these other 499. Forms of cancer out there. That is something that doesn't seem like a disease that -- that doesn't seem as comparable but people donate today the science gets better so five years from now there's another mat with three kids that are going to be here to join him to talk about their story. They're able to beat because the money. Was raised to help you come up with science. I couldn't agree would you -- you know I think of this today is as a love them to be honest with you and I always talk about teams. And the team that's represented here is all of you and all of those that are really helping to support us. Now and in so generously. Throughout the year. Because the research support finds new mechanisms for cancers new genes that cause cancers. From those are derived new treatments. And the treatments are not only more effective they have fewer side effects and ultimately this concept of treating individuals. Who have cancer with the right medicine for the right person at the right time so called personalized medicine is becoming a reality. So I can say that when Ron Burton came along. He lived five to six years but I can say with -- that he's very likely to have a normal life span -- and that's related to him. Absolute terms. The generosity. And all of you here today are always giving to Dana Farber but in the community the awesome support. That we had over many years. Honestly the progress simply wouldn't have been possible. And I do want to just say. The motivation is the patience everything we do our patients our hero and inspirations. If you look at this wonderful family you know. -- and Caroline and then the kids. It what more motivation do you. Right because you ladies that you bought Ron Burton 56 years. With donations from people out there are listening right now and the donations that -- more recently than that but -- fatherhood. Absolutely and we can get another father might not make it right now for different form of cancer 87773812. 34 now what she planned with the owners that. The -- is that a Red Sox ticket or what's the picture arts and shot the picture we took yes I noticed it was laminated and oh yeah I see it fantastic really nice as hope there was no Red Sox. -- -- -- -- -- they got a great deal out here so Flickr photo only slightly out of -- doesn't photos pictures which -- -- these things and I noticed yesterday video camera obviously we -- -- it's gonna close up -- look at these look at that right there at the celebration. That we did this yesterday yes actually you and you know with the Matty with Matty. You know like it and I played at best at that that and had a black cat the -- -- that. UN -- and you're. -- I forgot to mention this year teaching biology right now Boston Public Schools yes. Where specifically busting -- academy. And we just for just actually moved to brighten. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- You more than a little what is gonna cut a public view that. If he did not what what's next -- what's next year look like for you go back to work. -- it's past meetings and start teaching kids on the fourth. Just keep report back once a month or so. Get checked. On some maintenance medications that was -- a welcome back where you out of teaching parlor I I stated I didn't miss a day except for a minute I went through stem cell -- Just in case later on down the road I'll on the news selves so us out for a few weeks for that but other acts and president. So Tuesday to. Through its board every Beck -- -- students would honestly -- the parents and so forth that they've been behind you and your efforts to raise money donating -- -- -- put -- -- not told them is to help. Be awesome they've been great Greenway said. Policy -- Kevin -- again -- -- fight so everybody from Boston great academy or new neighbors in Brighton. It's 8777381234. Or text -- cancer 220222. And donate ten dollars courtesy of AT&T. Policy to do it online at www. Jimmy Fund dot org WW. The ice or WEI dot com slash Jimmy Fund you can let that Orvella so bored right now Mac family. Thank you so much for coming in. Doctor -- great seeing you again it's been too long. Yet it has and I am glad you're now Boston sports -- These things you're doing this to make my dad matter on how life partner I thought we -- cancer birds eye. At an event I do I wanna finish I mean you know -- -- Carolina urges examples of our hero's life and you know we wary about the Red Sox and patriots and others and we do that passionately. But the heartfelt commitment that you guys have been all New England now to help others as though they were faintly. Live and enjoyed them milestones of life it's really it's now and I cannot thank you. I take a lot of pride in the shows these guys on the rotunda. Looking out in a farmer cancer institutes on on the bubble for the for the pacts those great to see -- most commercial breaks. But smile when things don't best mister Kraft. That aren't.

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