Dear Friends and Family,
Multiple Myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and, although much progress has been made, Myeloma still has one of the lowest five-year survival rates of all cancers. I am proud to be part of the ACTION that is helping fund and fuel important research: Thanks to the important work of the MMRF and our partners, the FDA has approved ELEVEN new treatments in the time that it usually takes for ONE new drug to come to market. Moreover, there are a number of exciting new drugs and novel therapies just on the horizon.
This is particularly important because we now know that there are at least 12 different types of Multiple Myeloma, and because Myeloma is a cunning disease, it can morph throughout treatment, causing relapses and resistance to former therapies. Therefore, we need more and more new therapy options when patients relapse.
The MMRF is one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world. An outstanding 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 the past twelve years in a row.
Please support my participation in the Road To Victories Ride benefiting the MMRF.
My Story and Why I am Doing This
I will be participating in the Road to Victories Columbia River Gorge Ride in August 2020 as part of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Team for Cures. A group of cyclists will cycle for 5 days over 250 miles from Portland, OR to the Willamette Valley in order to raise much needed money to help fund our goal of curing this dread cancer.
The work ahead of me personally is to prepare to cycle over varied and challenging terrain with over 11,000 cumulative feet of elevation gain in order to raise at least $5,000 to support research funded by the MMRF. Although training for this event is a big challenge, it is nothing compared to the challenges faced by my patients who have to deal with Multiple Myeloma and its often catastrophic consequences.
As a Cancer Physician, I have been treating Myeloma for over 40 years and have seen the tremendous progress we have made. However, Myeloma is still incurable and most patients continually relapse and ultimately do not win their battle.
In the 1980's and '90's, we had limited therapies to treat our patients (primarily stem cell transplantation), but with the new Millennium, novel and effective drugs were being discovered and I was fortunate enough to be among the first to study Bortezomib (Velcade) and Lenalidomide (Revlimid).
In 2007, I joined the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, where I helped establish the largest Myeloma program on the West Coast. This program currently treats over 2000 active Myeloma patients, performs over 120 Myeloma stem cell transplants a year, has a robust clinical research program and has an extensive laboratory based research program specializing in the development of new drugs for the treatment of Myeloma.
In particular, we are now very involved in developing the next generation of immunotherapies (including CAR-T cells and T-cell engagers) that we hope will finally cure Myeloma.
In addition to my work and family life, I have found time to travel extensively, especially in the Himalayas, where I have volunteered to treat patients at a cancer center in Bhaktapur, Nepal, and have, in addition, arranged a donation of badly needed radiation and radiology equipment to that center.
I very much look forward to joining the Myeloma community on this bicycle adventure around the hills of Oregon, and most especially to join the Multiple Myeloma connected riders on this important effort to fund Myeloma research.
I have made a commitment to raise at least $5,000 and I will 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. Your tax deductible donation goes directly to help fast track lifesaving treatments for Myeloma patients.
Please donate whatever you can to support this great effort! 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!**