Spotlight on Nic Ahola:

Living with multiple myeloma   

April 2024

Me and my wife Kristy at the 1st Multiple Myeloma March

in Newmarket (ON) in 2019. Kristy and I will be supporting the 4th annual Newmarket Multiple Myeloma March

at Riverwalk Commons on Sept. 25.

(Matthew Haggerty photo) 

Cancer touches us all in some way. Some of us have personal cancer journeys, and others have supported loved ones through their journeys.

In 2016, my personal cancer journey started during a routine doctor’s visit. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

At the time, I had never heard of multiple myeloma. After my diagnosis, I learned that multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer in Canada, and it has no cure.  

Living with multiple myeloma 

As I mentioned earlier, I was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma during a routine medical visit in 2016. The diagnosis came as a total shock to me and my wife Kristy.

I was assigned an oncologist right away at North York General. However, a friend of mine, Shannon, is a nurse practitioner at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), so she referred me to Dr Anca Prica shortly after. I made the switch to PMH because it was closer to home and my friend Shannon could monitor me closely.

Me and Kristy in Las Vegas,

2015 before my diagnosis 

At the time I was diagnosed, my myeloma was stable and

remained that way until 2018, when it became active.  

It was around my wife’s 40th birthday. I started experiencing severe back pain. The pain was so excruciating that I don’t even have anything I can compare it to. We were set to leave for a trip to Las Vegas but I couldn't ignore the pain anymore.

And to make matters worse, I now had also lost the function of one of my arms. 

At the hospital, x-rays showed that I had a frozen shoulder, which is incredibly painful but the condition would go away on its own. So, my wife and I went on our trip. The entire time the pain just got worse. It wasn’t until we got home that I learned it was more han a frozen shoulder.

My oncologist explained that the pain I was experiencing was coming from fractures all over my body. They were in my spine, ribs, shoulder and collar bone.

During my first year of active multiple myeloma in 2018,

my treatment included radiation, high-dose chemotherapy, and tandem stem cell transplants. 

These intense treatments helped me eventually get to a stable point.


I remained stable until the summer of 2022, when my myeloma became active again.


This time, I underwent similar treatments. With the help of my healthcare team and my wife Kristy, I was able to get my myeloma under control in just 5 months!

Me and Kristy in 2018 at the Scotiabank

arena after my stem cell transplants. 

During treatment in 2020 at PMH

Since my initial diagnosis in 2016, I have continued to work and do the things I enjoy, like travelling, spending time with friends, and enjoying sports.

Living with multiple myeloma has meant that I continue to undergo regular checkups and treatment as I wait for a cure. Even while stable, I require chemotherapy, 3 weeks on and one week off, to keep the myeloma from forming.

A funhouse in Toronto between treatments, 2018 

Las Vegas, with Mike Tyson, 2021 

Life is not normal, but it is the best life I have, and I am truly grateful. 

Community involvement

Since my diagnosis, my wife Kristy and I have become involved with myeloma awareness and fundraising campaigns to help raise money for research that will hopefully lead to a cure being developed.

Despite the general public’s lack of awareness, multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer, with 11 Canadians diagnosed each day.

Me and Kristy at the Royal York

hotel in Toronto, 2019 

Now more than ever, I understand how important it is to bring awareness to multiple myeloma to help us find new treatments, create support, and one day, to find a cure. 

One of my goals since my diagnosis has been to contribute to research for a quest for a cure.

In 2019, Kristy organized the first annual Multiple Myeloma March in Newmarket, Ontario, where as a community, we raised $47,000! With the help of Myeloma Canada, we have organized annual March fundraisers in Newmarket ever since.

We are also proudly sponsoring Myeloma Canada’s The Grand Rappel event in July of this year!  

Multiple Myeloma March, Newmarket 2019

My position as Director of Operations at AC Waste gives me the unique opportunity to support Myeloma Canada and myeloma research both on my own time and as a business. Being able to support important causes with my business is incredibly important to me, and choosing a cause that is so personal has been so meaningful.  

My journey with myeloma started in 2016, and it continues today. 

With myeloma, I have learned that there will be highs and lows. 

I am so thankful for my entire support system who has helped me through tough times and stepped in for me when I have had to take time away from AC Waste for my health.

My hope for the future is to keep bringing awareness to multiple myeloma and inspire others to help us find a cure. 


Editor’s note: To learn more about The Grand Rappel, click here.

We hope you enjoy meeting our Spotlight Stars and your fellow Myeloma Canada community members. The Spotlight section of Myeloma Matters features stories and reflections supplied by members of our community - those living with myeloma, caregivers, healthcare professional - in their words. The views expressed and shared are those of that individual. We recognize that everyone’s journey and experience with myeloma is different.


To all of you who have shared your stories in the past, and those of you who continue to do so today, we are are an inspiration.  

If you would like to share your experience in a future issue of Myeloma Matters, please contact us at

Myeloma Canada's promise: To improve the lives and empower all Canadians affected by myeloma, accelerate access to the best care, while supporting the pursuit of its cure and prevention.

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