Marion State

Marion StateWhen Marion State, a registered nurse, needed a second opinion about her health, she was referred to a cancer specialist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

She was soon diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a relatively rare, incurable but treatable bone marrow cancer that can lead to brittle bones, kidney failure and the inability to fight infection.

"I remember when I got diagnosed, I didn't think I'd even have grandchildren," says Marion, now a proud grandmother of four.

That was in 1996 and Marion's been under the hospital's care—and singing its praises—ever since.

"The Princess Margaret has the greatest research team and has truly built one of the outstanding centres of excellence for multiple myeloma in Canada and probably North America," says Marion, who was part of a gene therapy clinical drug trial at The Princess Margaret a few years ago. Since 1999, she has been taking one of the new "smart drugs" and reports excellent results and benefits to her health.

To spread that message, in 1997 she started the Toronto & District Multiple Myeloma support group (, which now helps more than 350 members and their families. Local groups from around the country have since joined forces to become Myeloma Canada with support from The Princess Margaret to raise awareness about the disease.

These days, Marion is a patient of Dr. Suzanne Trudel. She says she has renewed hope that she'll live to see her grandchildren grow up, thanks to the leading-edge care she receives at The Princess Margaret.

  Reviewed: October 2013