Rick's Story


Image: Rick Paiva just after his stem cell transplant and chemotherapy.


Our Story began in 2009, when Rick Paiva was experiencing overwhelming amounts of hip and back pain that resulted in multiple emergency room(ER) visits. Throughout the course of his last ER visit Rick was sent for X-rays which revealed that there was a hole in his hip. This new information prompted the ER doctors to refer him to an Orthopedic Surgeon at Victoria Hospital. Upon meeting the orthopedic surgeon at the referral appointment, he sent Rick for a multitude of tests including blood work, scans and further x-rays. The results of these tests allowed the orthopedic surgeon to diagnose Rick with Multiple Myeloma and refer him to the hematology section of the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP) at Victoria Hospital.

 Once referred to the Hematology department at LRCP, he saw multiple doctors that specialize in Multiple Myeloma and was given a prognosis of approximately 3 years. The first form of treatment Rick received was a stem cell transplant in combination with chemotherapy. During the course of his treatment he was hospitalized for approximately 3 weeks to a month. After recovering for this challenging treatment, he was in partial remission for 6 to 8 months. When his myeloma became active again Rick began other treatments including multiple clinical trials, radiation and further forms of chemotherapy. Many of these treatments options were short-lived due to intolerable side effects and drugs inability to prevent the myeloma from progressing. Up until September of 2018, Rick had received 8 different types of chemotherapy drug treatments and radiation to battle his disease in hopes the myeloma would not progress.


Image: Rick Paiva and Dr. Martha Louzada

Dr. Martha Louzada became Rick’s permanent hematologist in 2015 and was instrumental in getting Rick to where he is now. In June of 2018, Rick ran out of treatment options and was hospitalized to have a hard hitting chemotherapy to keep his myeloma from growing out of control. In August, Dr. Louzada presented the option of new clinical trials available in Toronto to Rick and his family. One of the clinical trials was called CAR-T cell treatment which only had 3 spots open and was the only place in all of Canada to have this trial. 

After some difficulties with inclusion criteria and a spot being available he was finally accepted into the clinical trial and started the first phase of the trial, which was having a portion of his T-cells removed at the end of October. About a month later on November 20th, Rick went back to Toronto to prepare for the remainder of the treatment. Shortly following their arrival Rick’s health severely declined and he was admitted to the hospital early for radiation and chemotherapy treatment before proceeding with the rest of the clinical trial treatment. Then on December 10th Rick finally was able to get back on track and receive the remainder of his treatment which was to have his specially modified cells put back into his body so that they could fight they myeloma cells. After 2 weeks in hospital and another 2 weeks in Toronto he was able to come home and begin to fully recuperate. A couple months after being home, on April 4th, Dr. Louzada made a life changing phone call to the Paiva family informing them that Rick was officially in full remission.

Rick continues to improve and regain his full strength, he is expected to be back to 100% soon.


Image: Rick Paiva

and Dr. Donna Reece on day of CAR-T cell injection at Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto.

Image: Rick Paiva

having his T-cells removed at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.

We Need Your Support Today!