Dell Strayhorn and Sascha Tuchman
Dear Friends and Family,
We (Dell Strayhorn and Sascha Tuchman) will be participating in the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma (MM4MM) program in August 2020 by trekking across Greenland to raise funds and awareness for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). To date MM4MM has raised over $2 million with patients, caregivers, family members, doctors, clinicians and others taking on epic challenges and reaching out to their circle of support. 100% of those funds go to the MMRF, thanks to our sponsors.
Dell is a nurse practitioner and Sascha a hematologist / oncologist (a blood and cancer physician). We work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where together we and our team specialize in taking care of patients with multiple myeloma and related disorders. Additionally, we do clinical research, in an effort to find new treatments including some of the most promising approaches, such as chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T).
For years we have watched our patients, and their friends and families with them, deal with this challenging disease. Treatments are better and patients are living longer than ever before, but there is still no cure for myeloma and many people who have myeloma will die of it. We (all of us who are involved with myeloma patient care and/or research) need to do better. For that reason, we have joined MMRF in this critical effort to raise both awareness and the funds that will eventually lead to the cure.
It is time for us to stop having to tell our patients and their loved ones that that myeloma is “treatable but incurable.” It is time for people to stop dying of this disease. Please help us to get to the point that we can tell our patients that we now have the cure.
We have pledged to raise at least $15,000 for the MMRF. Training for this event is a big challenge, but nothing compared to the challenges faced by all patients, ours and elsewhere, who have multiple myeloma.
Multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer. Over 30,000 people are diagnosed yearly with multiple myeloma in the US and an estimated 12,000 are predicted to die each year from the disease. Thanks to the important work of the MMRF and their partners, the FDA has approved ELEVEN new treatments in the time that it usually takes for ONE new drug to come to market. There are more treatment options in the pipeline. These new options are so important because myeloma is smart and eventually almost always learns to resist any given treatments that a patient is taking. When the current treatment stops working and myeloma relapses, patients then need another set of treatment options to get the myeloma back into remission, meaning under control. Late in the disease course myeloma becomes resistant to all available options and uncontrollable. That’s why myeloma still ends too many lives too early. Research at UNC, the MMRF, and other institutions aims to end that change that reality by finding additional options for treatment, one of which will be the cure.
The MMRF is one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world. Nearly 90% of the total MMRF budget goes directly towards research and related programming. The MMRF is in the top 1% of all charities, having earned Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating for 16 years.
Please support our participation in the Greenland Arctic Trek benefiting the MMRF. Together, we have made a commitment to raise at least $15,000 and we need your help to get there. More importantly, patients need these funds to extend their lives while we get closer and closer to a cure. Please contribute whatever you can. It all adds up!
Thanks! Dell and Sascha
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