Nearly ten years after being diagnosed with a chronic form of
blood cancer, Mark Silverstein credits his family, his health care
team, and his passion for helping others battling illness with
keeping him focused on the future.
An important part of Mark Silverstein’s day is his morning ritual of
making coffee for his wife Nelia at their Aurora, ON home. For most
people, it would be a small gesture. But for Mark, it’s a precious
window of normalcy in a life that’s often overshadowed by illness.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a cancer of the blood in which
the bone marrow produces too many abnormal lymphocytes (a type of
white blood cell). Although it is a leukemia by name, CLL behaves, and
is treated, like other slowly progressing lymphomas. Approximately
2,200 people in Canada are diagnosed with CLL each year.
Now 54, Mark has been living with CLL for the last nine years. His
journey has taken him through multiple rounds of therapies, several
relapses, a bone marrow transplant, and, most recently, a third
relapse. Mark credits his wife and care partner, Nelia, his
hematologist, Dr. Peter Anglin, and biomedical innovation for keeping
him one step ahead of the disease.