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Obituary for Aldo Del Col M.S.M.

Aldo  Del Col M.S.M.
Del Col, Aldo M.S.M (1954-2019)

It is with profound sadness that we announce today the passing of Aldo Del Col, M.S.M., on August 6, 2019 due to unforeseen complications related to multiple myeloma. Aldo leaves behind an incredible legacy of passion, determination and accomplishments.

Aldo is survived by his beloved mother Maria Del Col of Timmins and was predeceased by his father Genesio (Gino) Del Col in 1996. He is also survived by his aunts Dina Valvasori of Toronto and Pierina Moro of Italy as well as many nieces and nephews.

Aldo was diagnosed with myeloma 17 years ago. It quickly became his life’s mission to empower patients to "take a seat at the table", get involved, be present and play a key role in all decision-making related to managing their disease. In Aldo’s infamous words, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”. Let it never be said that Aldo Del Col was on the menu!

When Aldo was diagnosed in 2002, there was not much information on the disease, treatment options were limited and resources for Canadians were nearly non-existent. Finding this unacceptable – and being a man of perseverance – Aldo founded the Montreal Myeloma Support Network. His voracious attention to detail, insatiable need to be informed and involved, to challenge the status quo are just some attributes that exemplify the man Aldo was. It was clear to him that more still had to be done. His commitment to “change the conversation” propelled the founding of Myeloma Canada in 2005 with its definitive tagline “Unknown. Unnoticed. Until Now”.

Aldo was a trailblazer. He was a firm believer in the power of the patient as well as grassroots efforts to drive change. He unified and strengthened the voice of the Canadian myeloma community, bringing together for the first-time, patients and caregivers, clinicians, researchers and industry partners with a common purpose. In 2009, the first set of discussions toward creating a formalized myeloma research group were held. One year later, the inaugural Myeloma Canada Scientific Roundtable took place in Montreal, Quebec to encourage collaborative research. It was from this gathering that the Myeloma Canada Research Network (MCRN) was born in 2010.

Above and beyond his work with Myeloma Canada and the MCRN, Aldo was involved with several other organizations and committees. He was a member of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG), the Hematology Executive Committee and the CCTG Molecular Tumour Board. In the spring of 2018, Aldo was presented with an Award of Appreciation for his dedication to the CCTG. That same year, Aldo was recognized by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, with the Meritorious Service Medal (M.S.M.) for his outstanding contribution to the myeloma community and to Canada.

On a global scale, Aldo served on the Board of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) and was an active contributor to the Global Myeloma Action Network (GMAN) and member of the International Myeloma Society (IMS). He was also named Member Emeritus of the Ontario College of Pharmacists in recognition of his work as a community pharmacist.

Aldo was a game-changer, a man of vitality, of unwavering grit whose impact transformed the lives of so many within the international myeloma community. Aldo may have left his seat, but thanks to his spirit and drive, patients will always have a place at the table. This is one of Aldo’s most important legacies.

Aldo always dressed with style and could hold forth with wit and knowledge on so many topics: where to get truly authentic Italian food, how a perfect risotto should be made, what foreign television shows were worth watching, the importance of good graphic design, branding, and the power of a nicely turned phrase. His strong opinions were always softened by a self-deprecating question: “But what do I know?”. Even in poor health, he fiercely engaged with life and in so doing, inspired everyone around him to do the same.

Memorial mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at Sacred Heart Parish. Interment Timmins Memorial Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Miron-Wilson Funeral Home Reception Lounge. Remembrance donations to Myeloma Canada would be greatly appreciated. The family will receive on Friday afternoon, August 23, 2019 from 2-5 p.m. at the
150 Balsam St. S., Timmins.
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