Did you know that multiple myeloma is the second most common type of blood cancer? Sadly, not a lot of attention is given to MM and other blood-related cancers, and it tends to be overshadowed in research and in the public eye.
Although, you probably knew this already if you’re a friend of mine (which means I am doing my job with spreading awareness :) )
For those who don’t know... I was 4 years old when our mom was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1995. She passed away 2 years later in 1997, a year before the MMRF non-profit organization had even been established. My own personal goal is to help raise awareness of multiple myeloma however I can, whether it be by participating in the race & fundraising every year, sharing new discoveries and treatments via social media, or spreading the word vocally. I can proudly share that last year I was one of the top 5 individual fundraisers and finished 1st place overall for females in the race... let’s see if I can beat my records this year!!
Here is a brief description on the devastating impact of multiple myeloma: "The disease starts in the bone marrow and grows out of a defective protein created by malignant plasma cells. The cancer spreads by this defective protein growing out of control and crowding out the normal cells that help fight infection and disease, and when the bad protein cells move into the bone, they cause tumors. Myeloma is the term for when the malignant cells form a tumor. When multiple tumors are formed, the disease is then called multiple myeloma." (http://www.themmrf.org)
To date, there is still no cause identified. "Current research suggests associations with certain conditions, but most cases of MM develop in people who have no known risk factors. There are often no symptoms in the early stages of myeloma, and even when present, symptoms may be vague and similar to those of other conditions" (http://www.themmrf.org)
In the past, like when my mom was diagnosed, there was little hope for those with MM. However, since the MMRF's start, they have helped to introduce 11 new drug treatments to the market that are now standard therapies for patients. They have also helped to map the myeloma genome, opened more than 80 new clinical trials, and even tripled patient survival. In total they have raised over $330 million since its inception, with 90% of total budget going to research and related programming. I only wish my mom were still around to benefit from these advancements. I fully support the MMRF, because running out of funds means running out of options for those patients.
The MMRF is doing great things. They are removing obstacles faster and extending lives... but they need our help.
Thank you all for your time, support and donations. Any little bit helps. Come on out and join me in the race if you can!!
* Did you know you can double your impact in seconds? Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees. Find out if your employer offers this benefit! Visit the MMRF Matching Gifts website (themmrf.org/matchinggifts) or ask your Human Resources Department!