Dave Venanzi (above) on 8/1/01 in Palos
Verdes, CA. He had an autologous
stem cell transplant
at UCLA in 8/01 and achieved remission for 16 months. This procedure
is not a cure for Multiple Myeloma. At present, there is no cure.
Dave's remission ended in 12/02.
died after a valient fight on 7/11/08, surrounded by many friends.
It has been
almost six years since Dave
was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. At diagnosis, I was told
he had less than three years still to live, so we treasure every
day together. He was in remission for sixteen months after his
stem cell transplant, but the cancer
returned in 12/02. He had been taking a low dose oral chemo regimen
for many months, but his measurable disease level began rising
in '05. He began Velcade, a chemotherapy infusion, in mid-April
'05, but this failed to help
him, as did higher dose Thalidomide and Decadron. Dave
was becoming transfuion dependent and we had few options still.
In October of '05, we were thrilled to be told that Dave's sister,
Amy, was a 10/10 HLA match for an allogenic
stem-cell transplant! She was deployed as a Major in the
US Army Reserves and returned to the U.S. from Iraq to donate
her stem cells for the procedure on 11/14/05. Thank-you, Amy!
Dave entered UCLA Medical
Center on 11/14/05. He was released home in 12/05 after 32 days
of hospitalization. Dave fought hard against an escalating tumor
burder in 2007. He tried several chemotherapies and finally one
suceeded (VDD) really well to bring the cancer level down in
8/07. He suffered a set-back in 8/07 and nearly died with severe
bilateral fungal pneumonia, (Pneumocystis
After two month of recuperation, he responded well again to Vincristine/Doxil/Dex
chemotherapy until 2/08.
Dave's cancer escalated very
rapidly in the spring of 2008. Chemotherapy had ceased working
again and we had few options available. Our hemotologist told
us there was nothing more he could do for Dave in terms of treating
Dave was hospitalized for ten days in May '08 for hepatitis.
He fought hard to regain his strength so he could take an experimental
tartarate, that we felt strongly would help him. Read
this about cyclopamine!
Unfortunately, his immune system was severely compromised by
the huge tumor burden in his bone marrow and he was unable to
fight off a massive septic pneumonia.
Dave died on 7/11/08, surrounded by many friends who chanted
"om mani padme hum" as he passed, as he had wished.
Dave was an
inspiration to all that knew him and we are so thankful for the
time we had with him!
He was my teacher and life guide and I will always remember the
very true love and passion for life that we shared!
Tribute to Dave Venanzi
more about Dave's allogeanic bone marrow transplant
Thanks so much
for all your kind wishes through all these years
support blood cancer research!
Bank On A Cure
Myeloma Research Foundation
Myeloma Resource Line for Physicians
Dave and Gail at UCLA Medical Center on
during his auto stem cell transplant.
Dave and good friend,
Tom Vegors, in 3/03
Dave and Iris 7/28/05
Dave and Gail 1/21/06
Dave on 1/13/08