MERCEDES — Ella Elizondo has been recognized for her steadfast support and all she’s done to help her husband, Rudy, who has been dealing with a difficult battle.

Rudy Elizondo, 71, a Vietnam Army veteran from Mercedes, is a trailblazer in bi-lingual education who dedicated his life and career to learning and educating others in South Texas.

Five years ago, Rudy was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, the second most common form of blood cancer that is currently incurable.

But Rudy’s high school sweetheart, Ella, has been there every step of the way helping him navigate his medical journey.

And for all Ella’s hard work helping Rudy, she was selected to receive the Caregiver Award at this year’s Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s Team for Cures Race held recently in Washington, D.C.

“Our mom, Ella, is the true Superwoman in all of this and the reason Dad keeps fighting,” said Amy Elizondo, who received the award on her mother’s behalf on Sunday, Oct. 7, before the race began in Washington, D.C.

For the past five years, Amy and her brother Chris have organized a team to participate in the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s 5K.

“We have been participating in this race since Dad was diagnosed,” Amy said. “And we’ve raised over $20,000 toward research for finding a cure.”

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a nonprofit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma.

This year the team raised more than $4,000 for cancer research.

And for the past five years Ella and Rudy have been gathering annually at the Mercedes Civic Center and walking trail to participate in the race to fight cancer with family and friends.

Rudy was treated with chemotherapy and radiation for one year, and is now in stable condition without the ongoing use of aggressive treatment.

Rudy said he is a survivor in large part due to the unwavering support of his wife and family that includes daughter Denise, Amy and son, Chris.

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The mission of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure.