We are international

An American in Paris…
By David Smith

On the streets of Paris

Actually, not only an American. Surrounding the fourth annual IMF Patient and Family Seminar in Paris France, a microcosm of the European Union joined in order to help promote advocacy for Revlimid® approval in Europe. With the support of Celgene Corporation, the IMF filmed myeloma patients, speaking in their own languages about what Revlimid treatment has meant to them and how important EMEA approval is to them and to all European myeloma patients.

In the Luxembourg Gardens
during a break (Adolfo and Mariella)

Adolfo from Italy (accompanied by his lovely wife), Marilena from Greece, Susanne from Germany (accompanied by her advocacy-motivated sister), Vincent (a native of France who lives on the northern coast), an American film producer, an assistant, and a British/French crew spent two days together to film four wonderful success stories. (Unfortunately a Spanish patient had to cancel just prior to filming because of a prior commitment and another patient could not be located in time).

Susanne and Marilena chatting

Because of the diligence of a very good friend of the IMF, we were able to film in the lush Luxembourg Gardens (a rare occurrence, we were told). Another friend allowed us to use his cozy Montmartre apartment (with a huge terrace by Parisian standards) to "recreate" typical household activities. The outdoor markets of St. Germain des Près and the warm hospitality of the Hotel Relais Christine provided additional backdrops for our cinematic endeavor.

On the second day, the impressive rooms of the Maison de l'Amerique Latine in St. Germain des Près (the venue for the IMF Patient and Family Seminar on the following day) served as a studio for in-depth patient interviews. At times funny, at times heart-wrenching stories were shared in the hope of helping other myeloma patients to receive the same novel therapy that they receive or received via clinical trials.

These interviews, once edited, will be combined with interviews filmed at this year's European Hematology Association meeting held in Amsterdam. Key European opinion leaders agreed to speak on film regarding the results of the trials they are conducting in the field of novel therapies. Together, this work has many uses in myeloma advocacy, education, and support. Stay tuned to the Minute, Myeloma Today, and the IMF website for more news about this project!

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