Barb Davis and Karl Vollstedt, co-leaders of the Stillwater, Minnesota Multiple Myeloma Support Group, will host their group’s centennial celebration in December.
The group began in Karl's home with help of his wife, Lorraine, in September, 2004, with 11 patients and caregivers. Today—one hundred meetings later—it has more than 70 patients and caregivers.
The group grew continuously and it eventually moved to larger quarters—the new state-of–the-art conference room at Stillwater’s Family Means Center, which graciously donates the space for the support group’s monthly meetings.
Educational programs feature outside speakers from the medical and social services communities, as well as professionals from the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and other treatment facilities. "We’ve corralled 89 speakers," says Karl Vollstedt.
Each meeting also includes an update from the individual patients chronicling their journey with myeloma, along with discussion among the attendees. Break-out sessions enable caregivers to exchange concerns as well.
The centennial celebration will include a buffet luncheon along with tributes to past and present members.