Pat Killingworth Pat Killingworth

How do you define a “powerful patient”? For me one embodiment has always been Pat Killingsworth, living with multiple myeloma since 2007. An author, a blogger, an advocate, I have met Pat several times, and—along with my colleague Carol Preston—we have interviewed him patient-to-patient, often. A couple of years ago during an interview, Pat broke down when I asked him about how he viewed the future. For any of us, it can be so uncertain. But happily, Pat did have a future after that.

I am sorry to tell you that came to an end today as we got word of Pat’s passing.

All of us at Patient Power and, I am sure, throughout the myeloma community, are saddened by his death, and our condolences go out to his wife and family.

Here’s a quote from one of our interviews with Pat where he was a realist and an ever-positive person:  “I'm on bonus time. I mean, to me, this is all a bonus, and there are some gifts that go along with it. Some are larger, some are small, some are sort of fun. For example, if I'm walking down a dark alley, I'm not scared anymore. I'm not afraid to fly. I'm on bonus time. But it can be disconcerting. It can be difficult, but it certainly helps you appreciate….what you have and every day.”

Pat echoed what others have said about the “silver lining” of a cancer diagnosis—less often sweating the “small stuff” and enjoying each day.

In this age of more and more clinical trials, more and more lines of therapy, the hope for making cancer ever “chronic” if it can’t be cured…in this time of Joe Biden’s “moon shot” to cure cancer…unfortunately, this devil still steals so many lives.

In December, Carol interviewed Pat at the ASH hematology medical meeting. He was there, as he has been so many times before, as a patient to meet and support others. He was recovering from a transplant and hopeful it could do what other therapies had not—beat the devil even deeper. Pat was upbeat. But multiple lines of therapy on top of the illness itself can take its toll.

And now it has with Pat.

We will miss his positive—yet realistic words—and his smile.

Wishing you and your family the best of health!

Andrew