Dear Friends and Family,
I will be participating in the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program this coming July by climbing Mount Fuji to raise funds and awareness for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Team For Cures.
This climb is for Bob DeBaun, my brother, who lost his battle with multiple myeloma six years ago, in December 2010. Thanks to the many efforts of the MMRF, after his diagnosis he got to see many of the special moments of life, including the graduation of his children Liz and Blake from college and Liz's wedding, where this picture of the two of us was taken. Bob and his wife Jane were major Chicago-area supporters of the work the MMRF does, and Jane and family are still active supporters.
Courtesy of the U.S. Navy, I was able to spend two years in Japan and have been lucky enough to return a few times and to see much of the country. Climbing Mount Fuji always loomed as a possible but untaken challenge. Now I am going to take the challenge and hope to do some good for those who are going through the same struggles that Bob dealt with in such an exemplary fashion. I don't usually take on things like this, but at age 70, I have decided to leave the comfort of my home in Brookfield, Wisconsin, and make this journey in honor and in memory of Bob. And for all the other patients battling this disease.
The work ahead of me? Climb 12,389 feet above sea level to the highest peak in Japan and raise at least $5,000 for the MMRF. I am not so worried about the hike as the possibility of altitude sickness. But although training for this event is a challenge, it is nothing compared to the challenges faced by my brother and other myeloma patients.
Multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and, sadly, has one of the lowest five-year survival rates of all cancers. But while there is still no cure, great progress is being made.
Thanks to the important work of the MMRF, the world's leading private funder of myeloma research, the FDA has approved 10 new 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 some 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.
The MMRF is one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world. Ninety percent the total MMRF budget goes directly toward 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. It also works hard to bring researchers together to share their findings, benefitting other cancer patients as well.
Please support my participation in the Mount Fuji Trek benefiting the MMRF. I have made a commitment to raise at least $5,000, and I need your help to get there. Please contribute whatever you can. It all adds up! Take this opportunity to give back and support this game-changing cancer organization.
Thank you so much!
**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!