Paul Bassett, BSN '11, Climbs Mountains for Myeloma Awareness
Paul Bassett, BSN ’11, Boston, MA, loves adventure. His most recent quest - hiking Japan's Mount Fuji in July 2017 with 19 teammates, six of whom were cancer patients. The expedition was made possible by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s (MMRF) initiative, Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma. This program provides support for teams of doctors, researchers, nurses, patients, and loved ones to raise awareness and funding for new research programs. Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer typically more common in men, usually after age 65, and is twice as common in African-American men as in Caucasian men.
“We were able to raise almost $150,000 for cancer research,” said Bassett. “It was an amazing experience.”
Last year Bassett participated in the inaugural Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma partnership with Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Cure Magazine, which brought together a team of patients, physicians, nurses, and researchers to conquer feats such as the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. While training for that climb, Bassett logged over 500 miles, which helped make the 12-mile hike feel like a breeze.
“Just prior to my departure, I hiked the tallest peaks in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire with a 45-pound backpack to prepare for the climb and higher altitude,” said Bassett.
To date, Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma has also led teams up Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Grand Canyon.
“The program is backed by a generous grant that provides funding so each trip is paid in full for every team member,” said Bassett. “In return, 100 percent of the funds raised by the team goes directly back into research programs at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. In just over a year there have been six trips and collectively, almost $1.25 million has been raised!”
Bassett first became interested in nursing when his father was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. A research chemist living overseas at the time, Bassett moved back home to northeast Ohio to help his family. Looking to return to the workforce quickly, he applied for Kent State University College of Nursing’s accelerated BSN program and graduated in August 2011.
He currently works at a biotech called Blueprint Medicines. The organization is working uncover potential treatments for rare and hard to treat cancers.