The beginning of a new year is always exciting. It’s a fresh start a clean slate — anything is possible. More than ever, I hear myeloma experts and researchers say that they believe we are on the brink of making myeloma a chronic disease. Can cure be far behind? We are making huge strides in many areas: research, quality of life, awareness about myeloma, advocacy, and reaching out to lend a hand to those in need. We’re proud of the fact that the IMF has been able to reach so many people around the world, giving them hope, empowering them through knowledge, and letting them know they are not alone.
The past year was a very busy one for the IMF and we were able to accomplish a great deal. We didn’t do it alone. We’re grateful to so many people who share our vision and who have enabled us to achieve our goals. We formed partnerships and collaborated with many people and I’d like to share with you what we’ve been able to do in 2002:
- held 5 Patient & Family Seminars, including the first ever “Interactive” P & F Seminar
- held the first ever “Challenging Cases for Multiple Myeloma”
- held the 3rd Annual Support Group Leader Retreat
- held the 2nd Scientific Advisors Retreat
- personally visited with 20 support groups
- NCI-trained hotline coordinators Nancy Baxter & Debbie Birns joined our team
- developed and produced the Myeloma Matrix
- developed and produced “Myeloma At The Movies”
- established a Patient Advisory Council
- began two new research initiatives Bank On A Curetm (BOAC) and the International Prognostic Index (IPI)
- funded 6 junior grants and 2 senior grants
- the IMF’s OMNI program reached 61 multiple myeloma support groups
- increased the number of support groups to 57 in the U.S. and 30 international
- testified before the Senate Sub-Committee
- increased our membership to over 100,000!
The IMF is only able to do what we do because people like you believe in and support our programs and services and share our belief that we can and do make a difference.
On behalf of all of us at the IMF a very heartfelt thank you and we look forward working together with you in this new year. We know that together we do improve the quality of life for myeloma patients while we work toward prevention and a cure.