Mika's Mission: Raising Awareness - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Mika's Mission: Raising Awareness

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BRIDGEPORT -

On Monday we introduced you to an area resident who is battling a rare form of cancer.

Mika Hunter is a Bridgeport resident who is fighting multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

Hunter and his girlfriend Liz Martin said they want to raise awareness on this disease.

"There is no cure for multiple myeloma. I'll have to do maintenance like chemo probably forever which is maybe a pill a day and maybe an aspirin. I'll be doing maintenance chemo and follow up visits," Hunter explained.

But Hunter doesn't want to have to do this for the rest of his life. Hunter and Martin said they hope to help raise awareness and promote research.

"We just want to get the word out on multiple myeloma because it's not really talked about but it's the second most popular blood cancer," Hunter said.

"Especially with it being breast cancer awareness month all you see is pink, and that's wonderful. But there are so many other cancers out there and before he got this I had never heard of it before," Martin said.

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation was founded by Kathy Giusti, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1996.

"They gave her three years to live and so two years later she started the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. She's laid the ground work and since then that foundation alone has produced six drugs that have passed FDA standards," Hunter explained.

Hunter said the research that has been done on multiple myeloma so far seems to be working.

"From 1970 to 1995 there was no kind of advancement at all. Since 1996 or 1998 until now they have more than doubled the life span of people with myeloma," Hunter said.

National organizations aren't the only ones doing research. Hunter said there's important work being done in Morgantown as well.

"In addition to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center in Morgantown is incredible and it's right in our backyard. I've had chances to move to bigger cities for other cancer research hospitals but I'm happy here with WVU," Hunter said.

Hunter said his overall goal is for further research to be done, and for a cure to be found.

We'll be keeping up with Hunter and updating you throughout his current treatments.