Cancer survivor advocate recognized as ‘2022 Multiple Myeloma Hero’ at National WWII Museum

Throughout his battle, he raised nearly $150,000 for research and awareness, even climbing to the Mount Everest base while undergoing treatments.

Erin Logan

Jan 12, 2023, 1:26 PM

Updated 530 days ago

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A Norwalk family dealing with two cancer related diseases has an important story to share as we get ready to start a new year.
The Kealys are proof that the power of positive thinking and putting others first can work wonders.
Just weeks ago, J.P. Kealy was recognized as a 2022 Multiple Myeloma Hero at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. His wife, Annamarie, wrote an essay nominating him.
Kealy was diagnosed in 2014 and has made his mission to mentor others dealing with this disease.
Throughout his battle, he's raised nearly $150,000 for research and awareness, even climbing to the Mount Everest base while undergoing treatments. 
He was one of five national winners. Their stories were featured in CURE media, a multi-media platform for those dealing with cancer. CURE Media
Kealy says he’s lucky and credits his doctors. He fractured his spine while lifting weights. At first he thought it was just back pain.  It wouldn't go away.  His doctors didn’t dismiss what he was saying.
“I had a tumor on my spine and three compressed fractures, and I didn't have any blunt trauma, so he ordered blood work which was the key to finding out what I had. He didn't say just go home and rest. They asked for blood work and that's when I found out. I had radiation early on in that killed off the tumor and from there, just taking it easy,” said Kealy.
The hero’s idea of taking it easy over the least eight years has been fighting for others in pain. “Keep moving. Keep going. Don't ever give up,” he said.
The couple never thought they'd be saying this to their 21-year-old daughter, recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma. She was dealing with a lot of chest pain, took it seriously and went to the doctor.  Annamarie says her husband’s journey and story of strength prepared her.  “I can't imagine how devastated I would've been learning about her,” she said.  
Now, the Syracuse University student is home with her family surrounded by love and tons of handwritten messages from her sorority sisters.
“People need to know there is hope in whatever illness you may have whether it's cancer or anything else,” said Annamarie.
The Kealys are reminding everyone to be your own health advocate and listen to your body. 
Early diagnosis is critical as demonstrated in the father and daughter’s cases.


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