We are saddened to report on the passing of Aldo Del Col, M.S.M., Co-founder of Myeloma Canada on August 6th, 2019, due to complications related to multiple myeloma. He leaves behind a valuable legacy of passion and determination.
Aldo was diagnosed with myeloma in 2012, and it quickly became his mission to empower patients to “take a seat at the table” and get involved in decision-making. In his own words: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”.
At the time of his diagnosis, there was not much information on multiple myeloma, and treatments were limited. Aldo found this lack of resources unacceptable, and as a result founded the Montreal Myeloma Support Network. His attention to detail and need to be informed and involved were some key attributes that made him the man he was. His commitment to “change the conversation” propelled the founding of Myeloma Canada in 2005, along with its definitive tagline: “Unknown. Unnoticed. Until Now.”
Aldo was a firm believer in the power of the patient, and he unified and strengthened the voice of the Canadian myeloma community. For the first time, he was able to bring together patients and caregivers, clinicians, researchers, and industry partners. In 2009, the first set of discussions toward creating a formalized myeloma research group were held. One year later, the inaugural Myeloma Canada Scientific Roundtable took place in Montreal, Quebec to encourage collaborative research. It was from this gathering that the Myeloma Canada Research Network (MCRN) was born in 2010.
Photo taken at the first-ever Myeloma Canada Scientific Roundtable meeting in 2010
Aldo went above and beyond in his work, and was involved in several other organizations and committees. He was a member of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG), the Hematology Executive Committee, and the CCTG Molecular Tumour Board. In the spring of 2018, Aldo was presented with an Award of Appreciation for his dedication to the CCTG. That same year, Aldo was recognized by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, with the Meritorious Service Medal (M.S.M.) for his outstanding contribution to the myeloma community and to Canada.