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Lyndonville man who has battled cancer will hike in Iceland for multiple myeloma research

Photo by Tom Rivers: John Klatt has his hiking gear on in this photo on Townline Road, where he lives not far from the farm where he grew up on Alps Road. He heads to Iceland next week for a fundraiser for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2019 at 11:36 am

LYNDONVILLE – A Lyndonville man who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma three years ago will do rigorous hiking next week in Iceland to raise funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

John Klatt, 66, is a retired Lutheran pastor and served congregations for 35 years in the Thousand Islands, Western New York and Herkimer. He grew up on a farm on Alps Road and graduated from Lyndonville in 1971.

Provided photos: John Klatt and his sister Mary Schlabach participated in a training hike on the Shortoff Trail in Asheville, NC.

Three years ago he moved close to home and was working on renovating a house on Townline Road with his wife, Bonnie.

He was feeling over-tired and realized he fractured 10 vertebrae in his back due to the multiple myeloma, which is a cancer of the blood plasma that weakens the bones.

He endured chemotherapy and a stem cell treatment. He hasn’t had any active cancer the past two years.

Klatt is thankful for the treatments at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. He has raised nearly $8,000 which he said will aid in more research for people battling multiple myeloma. (Click here for more information on Klatt’s fundraising page).

“Roswell was a life-saver,” he said at his home in Lyndonville. “I received great treatments. It was just what I needed.”

Multiple myeloma is currently an incurable blood cancer. Klatt said his treatments have made the myeloma manageable.

He walked on a treadmill to help in his recovery. He also finished many of the projects around his house.

John Klatt and about 10 others headed to Iceland spent a day bonding and hiking on a training hike on the Shortoff Trail in Asheville, NC.

Klatt has long enjoyed walking and hiking, going on journeys in the Adirondacks, Appalachians and Catskills.

He was thumbing through the CURE magazine, when he read about the opportunity to hike in Iceland. His sister, Mary Schlabach, and 10 others will join him. All have been affected by multiple myeloma as survivors, caregivers or loved ones of those with the disease.

“I am honored that one of those participating on the 12-person team to Iceland will be my sister Mary Schlabach who was one of my caregivers following my stem cell transplant in 2016,” Klatt said.

Klatt and the other hikers will trek for five days of challenging and spectacular hiking. The hike is often called “Fire and Ice.” Hikers on a single will cross lava fields and volcanoes, and then be by stunning glaciers.

Klatt and the hikers have prepared for 7 to 8 hours of daily hiking, going about 6 to 8 miles each day. They will be staying in mountain huts.

The event is organized by Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma in a collaboration between CURE Media Group, GSK and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Since its creation in 2016, MM4MM has raised nearly $2.5 million, which 100 percent going directly to cancer research.

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