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.