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Dallas 2005 Patient & Family Seminar
By Peter Tischler

February saw another wonderful visit to Dallas by the IMF. We welcomed our old friends, Susie Novis, Dr. Brian Durie, Mike Katz, Greg Brozeit, Spencer Howard, and Lisa Paik, along with a new friend, Candace McDonald. They brought the usual world-class faculty with them to present to us everything there is to know about myeloma and how to treat the disease. The two-day seminar and festivities were held at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Dallas.

Dr. Brian Durie
Mike Katz

As usual, Dr. Durie joined our group on Friday afternoon, along with Dr. Marvin Stone of Baylor University Medical Center.  We eventually drew a crowd of about 140 people for the Friday afternoon meetings.  After our group meeting, there were four “Quality of Life” presentations: Kyphoplasty with Dr. Douglas Won, the Freelite Test with David Glass from The Binding Site, Osteonecrosis of the Jaw with Dr. Jacqueline Plemons, and Velcade with Barbara Baum of Baylor.  The presentations were very well received and very much needed.

Dr. Marvin Stone
Dr. Jacqueline Plemons
Barbara Baum

David Smith
Dr. Douglas Won

The Friday night Reception and Welcome Dinner featured a get-together with IMF Staff, faculty, and a chance to greet old friends and make new ones.  There were people from all over the country and even outside the U.S.  Anyone who hasn’t attended one of these affairs is missing a wonderful opportunity to learn how much more than myeloma our lives can be.  It was good to see Andy Lebkuecher, our IMF Support Group Director, with his wife, Cathy, from the Atlanta Myeloma Support Group.

Andy Lebkuecher

Saturday was, of course, the main seminar day.  It was a LONG day, starting with an early breakfast at 7:00 a.m., meetings all morning with a necessary break mid-morning.  A very nice lunch was followed by more seminar presentations, a break, and then the breakout sessions with the various faculty members. As expected, Dr. Durie’s breakout drew the largest crowd.  In addition to Dr. Durie and Dr. Stone, we had presentations by Dr. Greg Mundy (dealing with myeloma bone disease), Dr. Guido Tricot (transplantation), and Dr. Seema Singhal (dealing with relapsing myeloma).  Every presentation was followed by a question and answer session in which all the doctors participated.

Dr.Greg Mundy
Dr. Seema Singhal 
Dr. Guido Tricot

We had an advocacy update by Greg Brozeit about the serious situation on Capitol Hill regarding funding for cancer research.  This is a critical year and Greg wants us to lobby our members of congress to increase funding and place the proper emphasis on our need for a cure.  Greg will help us do that in the coming months.

Greg Brozeit

Our group members were also featured at the seminar, as Madron Hartley, Patrick Beal, and Yelak Biru were selected as the Patient Panel. Each described, for the audience, their experiences with diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and the support group.  Thanks for their willingness to share their hope with the rest of us. 

Since it was two days before Valentine’s Day, the IMF raffled off a couple of boxes of chocolate, one with a stuffed frog on top and one with a stuffed bear. Ticket sales were brisk as forgetful husbands scrambled to acquire the chocolates.

Sorry guys, Lisa did not come with the chocolates

Out in the reception area, both the IMF and our NTMSG had tables where folks could get some information about our respective organizations. 

Andy and Candace (tag team?) behind the IMF table
Marcia meets some folks at the NTMSG table

The seminar presentations were held in a large auditorium where we all gathered on both Friday and Saturday.

Did I mention that there was a big crowd at the seminar?

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