New Mexico businessman and grateful patient raises awareness, funds for multiple myeloma
When New Mexico restaurateur, rancher and attorney Ed Tinsley III got an unusual result on a blood test in late 2010, he had no idea what lay ahead. “It was around Christmas,” he recalls. “I felt great, but I had noticed it was taking me longer to overcome some infections.” Further testing confirmed that Ed had monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) in his blood, an abnormal protein that forms within the bone marrow.
According to the National Cancer Institute, each year about 1% of people with MGUS develop multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. Ed and his wife Meredith began searching for the best care available. With help and support from their two children, Edward and Ede, they soon discovered the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ (UAMS) Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and its Myeloma Center. The Myeloma Center is the most comprehensive center in the world for research and clinical care related to multiple myeloma and related diseases.
“We analyzed all the choices, and we felt like this was the best place to be. I appreciated their positive and aggressive approach, as well as their commitment to be on the cutting edge of new therapies,” Tinsley said.
“The relationships we developed at the Cancer Institute, and the experiences we had at UAMS and in Little Rock, raised my confidence and my comfort level in the team I was working with. We cannot say enough about the medical team who has supported us throughout the years. They are nothing short of fantastic!”
The Tinsleys traveled to the Cancer Institute every few months to monitor the MGUS. However, by 2016, his condition had progressed to multiple myeloma.
He had a stem cell transplant in 2017, and a tandem transplant in 2018. The tandem transplant was described to the Tinsleys as the best way to achieve the most positive results, and it did. Tinsley achieved complete remission in 2018, and said he’s grateful for the care he received at the Cancer Institute.
In an effort to raise awareness of the options and resources available to treat blood cancers, in 2021 Tinsley launched a fundraiser at his Flying W Diamond Ranch in Capitan, New Mexico, to benefit research at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.
Called “Caballos Against Cancer” (Horses Against Cancer), the inaugural event was held in October 2021, and the second event was held in August 2022. Both events featured barrel racing competitors from across Texas and New Mexico, as well as a host of live and silent auction items, music and a dinner in an outdoor tented venue.
“I was born and raised in a ranching family, and a ranching families’ nature is to help others,” he said. “I have been a part of that culture since birth, so I thought we could tie in our lifestyle with horses and our ranch, and have some fun with it.”
Sadly, Ed passed away in late 2022. In an effort to honor his passion for myeloma awareness and research, Ed’s family allowed us to share this story he approved earlier this year.