Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters,
As many of you may know, I am a six year survivor of Multiple Myeloma, a treatable but incurable cancer caused by chromosomal abnormalities of bone marrow plasma cells. Following my diagnosis in June of 2011, I went through an initial treatment of 16 months of chemotherapy using effective modern medications, followed up by an autologous stem cell transplant performed at Stanford University Medical Center in January of 2013. Thankfully, this combination of treatments has put me into a deep and ongoing remission which has allowed me to continue life largely as normal for the past four years. I continue to take a daily low dose “chemo maintenance” medication, and while not cured of Myeloma, I feel optimistic that ongoing medical advancements will continue to extend my survival. A complete cure for Myeloma has been elusive, but is tantalizingly close. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not to the end of the tunnel yet. Further medical research is still desperately needed.
As recently as ten years ago, Multiple Myeloma had one of the lowest five-year survival rates of all cancers. Newly diagnosed patients could expect an average survival of just three to four years, with poor quality of life. Advancements in cancer research over the past ten years have not only tripled average survival times, but have afforded many Myeloma patients a comparatively excellent quality of life. As a direct beneficiary of this research, I feel an obligation to do whatever I can to support those advocacy groups and research organizations that have been most effective in promoting the medical research that I and many other patients have so benefited from.
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation(MMRF) is the world’s leading private funder of Myeloma research. . Thanks to MMRF supported research, the FDA has approved TEN new Myeloma treatments, including FOUR in just the past 18 months – a track record that's unparalleled in the world of oncology. These drugs have tripled the lifespan of myeloma patients after diagnosis. And now the MMRF is funding over 20 additional treatments in various stages of development, giving hope to tens of thousands of patients and their families. An outstanding 90% of the total MMRF budget goes directly towards research and related programming. And the MMRF is in the top 1% of all charities, having earned Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating for the past eleven years in a row.
I July of this year, I will be joining 17 other Myeloma patients, doctors, and caregivers on a trip to Japan to climb Mount Fuji as part of the MMRF’s Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program. This is a nice opportunity for me to connect on a personal level with other patients and Myeloma doctors, while raising funds and awareness for the MMRF’s Team For Cures.
The work ahead of me? Climb 12,389 feet above sea level to the highest peak in Japan and raise at least $12,389 for the MMRF. Do the math, folks, that’s only a dollar a foot!
Please take this opportunity to support this game-changing cancer organization with whatever contribution you can make. It all adds up!
**Want to double your impact? Inquire if your company matches your charitable donations and submit your donation information through your company's portal or HR to receive a match! Forward me your confirmation email and I can get your match added to my fundraising total!