On Friday & Saturday, November 12th and 13th, the IMF held its fifth Patient & Family Interactive Seminar for this year at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown San Diego. In attendance were more than 150 Patients and Caregivers from across the United States and Canada, a sell-out crowd. We would have been happy to allow more to attend, however, the fire code limited us! Next year we will reserve a much larger space. Nothing is more difficult for us than to turn people away.
The seminar started on Friday afternoon with the participation of the hometown San Diego Support Group, led by the inimitable Fred Gloor. Fred, as always, deftly handled the podium and truly made the entire weekend more enjoyable.
One of our beloved long-time members, Gerry Difford, gave an inspiring and heartfelt presentation at our Friday Night Welcome Dinner. The audience, which included many newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers, was understandably moved to tears. All of us at the IMF would like to thank Gerry and Kristi for putting together such a beautiful presentation. These are the moments that stay with you long after the seminar is over and everyone has returned home.
On Saturday, Drs. Morton Coleman, Brian Durie, Rafael Fonseca, Robert Vescio and Jeffrey Wolf donated their time to give in-depth presentations and conduct extensive question and answer sessions on such topics as Myeloma 101, Standard/Frontline Therapies, Bone Disease & Supportive Care, Transplantations and Novel Therapies. We would like to send a special thank you to each of them as well as our pharmaceutical sponsors, Celgene, Millennium, Novartis and Ortho Biotech. It is their selfless support of our programs that helps so many of those recently diagnosed with myeloma to understand the disease and the treatment options that are available now and coming along for the future.
Our seminar concluded with the much anticipated Break-Out Sessions where Patients and Caregivers have the opportunity to meet in small groups of 10-20 people with each of our Expert Faculty and ask very specific questions as it relates to each of their individual treatments and therapies. Many of our past attendees have told us that these sessions are priceless and make the whole seminar worthwhile.
If you have never attended one of our seminars, or have not attended in a while, please consider doing so. There is always something new to learn and wonderful people to meet at each of our seminars. Please check our website for the next Seminar coming to a city near you! Dallas and Atlanta are next on the calendar. They are filling up fast, so please don’t wait until the last minute to register! Remember, if you register 30 days before any of our seminars you will receive a 20% discount off your registration fee.