North Hollywood, March 2, 2015 - The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure, has once again declared the month of March to be Myeloma Awareness Month (#MAM).
The IMF first established March as Myeloma Awareness Month in 2009. Throughout the month, the IMF disseminates information about the disease through local community events, social media campaigns, story sharing, and proclamations. In 2014, the governments of 60 cities and four states signed proclamations acknowledging March as Myeloma Awareness Month.
“The majority of patients have never heard of myeloma before their diagnosis,” IMF President and Co-Founder Susie Novis said. “The IMF is proud to lead the charge in raising myeloma awareness across America and around the world.”
The IMF’s dedicated Myeloma Awareness Month website, http://mam.myeloma.org, features a variety of novel ways to inform the public, including the Mambo for Myeloma campaign, which asks patients, caregivers, doctors, friends, family members, and groups to film themselves dancing and then share a donation link for the cause. The IMF site also helps visitors find a local St. Patrick’s Day parade in which to March for Myeloma Awareness.
In addition, the IMF site features patients’ stories and invites visitors to share their own, helps patients locate local support groups, and provides step-by-step instruction on how to secure a Myeloma Awareness Month proclamation in their hometown, county, or state.
Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells – a form of white blood cells – that accumulates in the bone marrow. While there is no cure yet for myeloma, the disease can very often be treated successfully and many patients live long and productive lives after being diagnosed.
Lack of knowledge about the disease and its frequent misdiagnosis were the motivating factors behind the IMF’s establishment of Myeloma Awareness Month. The IMF believes that more awareness can lead to earlier diagnosis and increased funding for research.
“Knowledge is power,” Novis added. “The IMF empowers patients, and well-informed patients do better.”
ABOUT MYELOMA: Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affects the immune system and can damage bone. Myeloma currently affects more than 100,000 people in the United States, with an estimated 20,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Myeloma is increasing in numbers and is becoming more common in younger patients, with possible links to environmental toxins. Recently, myeloma was added to the list of cancers covered in people exposed to the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.
ABOUT THE INTERNTIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION: Established in 1990, the IMF is the oldest and largest foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation’s reach extends to more than 350,000 members in 140 countries worldwide. The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure by focusing on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. The IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned InfoLine, and in 2001, established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. In 2013, the IMF launched the Black Swan Research Initiative®, a groundbreaking research project aimed at curing myeloma. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org. Follow the IMF on Twitter @IMFmyeloma.
Debra Gendel, (310) 710-1903
Cashmere Road Media