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3News' Austin Love shares mom's story of battling rare cancer: 'It’s not the circumstance, it’s how you respond to it'

'I just decided there's going to be joy and I'm going to be positive.'

CLEVELAND — With the Olympics now underway, we are having a competition of our own -- the Winter Olympics Showdown for Charity. I will be raising money for a charity close to home, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

I'm doing it in honor of my mom.

For those of you who don't know my mom, she's a wife, mother of three boys, a grandma and a retired educator. On top of that, she's a person living with Multiple Myeloma.

Multiple Myeloma is a rare cancer that impacts the plasma cells in bone marrow. It's a form of cancer my mom, Jill Love, has been fighting since December of 2018.

It's such a rare form of cancer that less than 35,000 people are diagnosed each year. Each diagnosis also comes with daunting news.

"The first thing they say is that it's not curable," my mom said.

A cancer that currently isn't curable, but is treatable.

"The more I have gone through treatment over the last three years, there's a lot more hope," she said.

A lot of that hope coming from research being done by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. It's an organization started by sisters Kathy Giusti and Karen Anderson. They formed it after Giusti was diagnosed with the disease and given just three years to live.

"She looked at how much money was going into research and found there had been very little progress in the last few decades," said Anne Quinn Young, the Chief Mission Officer at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

RELATED: Young cancer warrior Andrew Codner continues to inspire as he nears end of his treatment

But since founding the organization in 1998, their research and efforts have turned what had been a death sentence just two decades ago, into what is now a much more treatable form of cancer.

"Fast forward 24 years later," said Quinn Young, "There's been 13 new treatments approved and patients are living three times longer than when she (Giusti) was diagnosed."

My mom knows the impact of their research. She underwent chemotherapy for nine months after her diagnosis, followed by a stem cell transplant in October 2019.

That stem cell transplant held for about 18 months until she relapsed again.

Now, thankfully, her cancer is in remission and it's thanks to weekly chemotherapy and other treatments.

"Hopefully that keeps me in remission for a long time," she said.

While new treatments have kept my mom here for the past three years, it's her faith that keeps her going through this journey.

"The foundation of my faith is the one that's gotten me through it," she said. "I have this support system that is just beyond."

Making the decision each day to find joy in the midst of life's toughest battle.

"Each of us has circumstances or situations that we're gonna be faced with. It's not the circumstance, it's how you respond to it. I've just decided that there's gonna be joy and I'm gonna be positive. You make the most of it."

If you'd like to find out more about the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and make a donation to their mission, CLICK HERE.

On Monday, 3News' Dave Chudowsky announced he would be raising money for GiGi's Playhouse, which has also touched his family.

RELATED: Competing to raise money for GiGi's Playhouse: 3News' Dave Chudowsky shares his family's experience with the organization

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