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International Myeloma Foundation Celebrates Landmark Success of 2004

NORTH HOLLYWOOD , CA   January 6, 2005 – The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), the country’s oldest and largest myeloma organization, celebrated 2004 as a year of tremendous success for the organization, and the patients and families it serves. 

“2004 saw the realization of many of the IMF’s dreams,” said Susie Novis, IMF President.  “We raised more money than we have in any other single year; our membership has flourished and we can see that patients are availing themselves of our programs, web site and publications as never before; Bank On A Cure has become a reality; and we received a fantastic grant from the Centers for Disease Control.  The organization has truly become the comprehensive resource for myeloma patients that we dreamed it could be in 1990.”

The IMF raised a record-breaking $4.3 million, exceeding annual donations of any previous year. The donations will be used to fund the expansion of existing programs, including the flagship IMF Patient and Family Seminars, Myeloma Today newsletter, clinical conferences for physicians, toll-free hotline and other educational materials and services that myeloma patients around the world have come to rely upon.  In addition, a portion of the funds will be used to sponsor myeloma research grants as well as the Bank On A Cure initiative.

Also in 2004, the IMF membership ranks swelled to more than 120,000 members in 113 countries. Not surprisingly, the IMF’s web site received more than 28 million hits and an average of 200 people attended each Patient & Family Seminar held around the country.  In addition, more than 20,000 myeloma information packets were sent out to patients worldwide. 

The IMF’s cutting edge research initiative, Bank On A Cure, became a reality in 2004. Bank On A Cure is the first comprehensive myeloma-specific, cancer patient DNA bank in history. Last year, DNA collection began from patients and institutions worldwide. Through this program, DNA samples are being collected and genetically analyzed to help develop new and more effective therapies and to better understand, and ultimately, cure myeloma.

The IMF was also extremely honored to have been awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September 2004.  The grant exceeded $250,000 and can be renewed for two additional years at the CDC’s discretion.  The IMF was thrilled to be recognized by the CDC in this manner and will use the funds to reach an even greater number of myeloma patients with the information and services they need.

Finally, the IMF wishes to thank all of their supporters who helped to make 2004 such a success.  Patients and their families who generously responded to the IMF’s direct mail appeal made a tremendous contribution to the organization, as well as those who supported the IMF annual gala which raised nearly half a million dollars.  The IMF sincerely thanks their membership and the patients, families, physicians, and researchers around the world who are engaged in the fight against multiple myeloma. 

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