March 8, 2019

Over the Hurdles

When attorney Ken Stoll of North Little Rock was diagnosed in 1991 with multiple myeloma, many would have called it a death sentence.

He now thanks his doctor who referred him to the then-fledgling program for multiple myeloma at UAMS. It was that doctor’s foresight, coupled with UAMS’ dedication to patients with this rare cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in the bone marrow, that he believes gave him the last 19 years of his life.

“I feel like the Lord has blessed me and that I’m a living miracle.”

Stoll, 66, came out of retirement in 2006 and works as a general counsel for the Arkansas State Police.

The Myeloma Institute, established by Dr. Bart Barlogie in 1989 and now celebrating its 20th year, is internationally known and has treated more than 9,000 patients from every state and more than 50 foreign countries. The institute treats more multiple myeloma patients annually than any other facility in the country.

In the past 20 years, Myeloma Institute researchers bolstered the institute’s reputation through development of new treatments and greatly expanded understanding of the cellular and genetic mechanisms of the disease.

It was Barlogie’s dedication and passion that resounded with Stoll. “He was very caring and very knowledgeable. He put me at ease as much as anyone could at the time I was diagnosed,” said Stoll, who sometimes meets with newly diagnosed patients as “living proof” of hope in fighting multiple myeloma.

Barlogie credited “a determination by a team of clinicians and translational scientists who dedicated their professional mission to curing myeloma” for the institute’s success. He casts a large net, praising the nurses, support staff and all who have worked at the institute over the years.

“They have created a coordinated system that gives confidence and optimism to our patients,” he said.