With courage as his biggest weapon against myeloma, Fred Gloor, with the incredible support of his wife Virginia, has fought valiantly for 12 years against a disease for which there is no cure. It was in 1992 he received a diagnosis of MGUS. Learning that he only had a 25% chance of developing myeloma, Mr. Gloor planned for retirement a full plate of enjoying life Just as he retired in 1995 he learned the disease had progressed to myeloma. It was then the battle began in earnest.
In the long run, his battle has produced many victories, including the founding of the San Diego Myeloma Support Group. In the beginning Mr. Gloor struggled through treatments not knowing one other myeloma patient. After finishing a stem cell transplant treatment in July of 1997, he began attending a support group for patients who had stem cell transplants. It was there that he met 2 other myeloma patients and the need for a support group dedicated to myeloma became clear. During this same period, Mr. Gloor discovered the IMF and learned that there was no support group in San Diego. The challenge from the IMF to Mr. Gloor was to start a local support group and in his usual courageous manner, he thought “why not?”
Mr. Gloor recalls how his life changed when he started the group. He believes myeloma ordained him to help others with this disease in any way possible. Every time he talks with a newly diagnosed patient or family member he gains courage as he helps alleviate their fear and gives them hope. He often quotes a phrase from Dr. Bernie Segal, " there are no incurable diseases, only incurable people." His straightforward advice to anyone battling the disease is to become an exceptional cancer patient, to be proactive and take control of his or her disease. Most importantly, Mr. Gloor reminds each person how important prayer is. Over the years he has prayed a lot and many have prayed for him.
In seven short years, with Mr. Gloor leading the charge, the San Diego Myeloma Support Group has grown from its initial five members to a very active and well-attended 70-member group. Mr. Gloor believes that without the support group he would not be here today. Thinking back to the beginning, Mr. Gloor recalls how the IMF, by providing information, allows patients to overcome fear and focus on their recovery.
Mr. Gloor grew up in San Diego and graduated from Saint Augustine High School. He graduated from the California Maritime Academy, spent three years in the Navy and 30 plus years as a sea going man. Mr. Gloor has sailed most of the Pacific between Alaska to the South Pole, his last 12 years as Master Mariner and Captain of the SS President Harrison.
Find out more about the San Diego Support Group.