For Dave and Tamara Hubler of West Des Moines, each day is about giving back to those who showed them support and provided Dave with the courage to keep fighting.
Dave and Tamara met in college and both enjoyed successful careers that took them to different areas of the United States. After raising a son and daughter they moved to Harrisonburg, Virginia. It was in Virginia, as they were contemplating retirement, that the direction of their lives would change.
In 1999, after a routine blood test, Dave's protein levels were elevated. Not ones to overreact, the Hublers cautiously watched his protein levels over the next few months. Unfortunately, in March 2001, Dave was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer that begins in malignant plasma cells and manifests by creating tumors within your bones. Their lives were changed forever. From that moment on Dave would be known as a cancer survivor, and Tamara would be his rock throughout the cancer journey. Both wanted the best possible outcome and aggressively read everything they could find to understand the cancer, its treatments, and what they could expect.
Dave's battle with cancer started with chemotherapy treatment and a stem cell transplant in the Fall of 2001. After a long, six-month recovery process they moved back to the Midwest. The John Stoddard Cancer Center influenced their decision of where to live. Dave and Tamara considered living near their daughter. However, the closest comprehensive cancer center that could provide the care, if needed, would be two hours away. They quickly discovered that not only does Stoddard provide the same level of comprehensive care as other leading cancer centers from across the nation, but it has some of the most highly-trained and professional staff. This provides great comfort to the Hublers and their family. Dave is now managing his cancer thanks to advances in medication.
Dave's journey with his blood cancer has led both he and Tamara to show support with their time, talent and treasures. In addition to supporting Stoddard Cancer Center through philanthropy, they are also active members of the Blood Cancer Support Group which meets monthly at Stoddard, sharing their knowledge and experiences with survivors, families, and caregivers both locally and nationally. The Hublers helped to start the support group which has grown from four people to nearly 20 regular attendees.
As annual supporters of the Rally Against Cancer, they chose to expand their circle of friends and invited nurses, support group members and even their favorite pizza guy to join them at the event! "Stoddard is a tremendous resource for central Iowa" says Dave. "I want to make sure that the support I received is paid forward."