On October 27, 2000 the IMF will hold a Gala benefit, "A Ribbon of Hope – Making a World of Difference." For the past decade, the IMF has reached out with a helping hand to people all over the world. In turn, many of you have reached back with your own helping hand. This issue of Myeloma Today is dedicated to all the volunteers who truly make a difference. I salute all of you. There is not enough space in this column to name each and every one of you, so here is just a small sampling:
Aki Horinouchi founded IMF Japan, and his members raised over $30,000 to support myeloma research. Aki translated the IMF Patient Handbook into Japanese, helped hundreds of patients and organized the first ever Patient & Family Seminar to be held in Japan.
Valerie Small, age 13, decided she wanted to raise money to help her grandfather. She and her friend Stephanie Byrne wrote letters asking for donations. To show their appreciation, they delivered baskets of homemade chocolate chip cookies to each donor. They wrote 35 letters, raised $1,000 and baked lots of cookies!
Cathy & Andy Lebkuecher are a dynamic duo! Cathy started and leads the Atlanta Support Group. Both she and Andy are frequent volunteers helping out at our seminars. They continually reach out to others in need.
Marilyn Alexander, leader of the Philadelphia support group, organized one of the first fundraising events. Most recently, she coordinated the production of IMF cookbook - "Cooking For A Cure."
Foti Chronopoulos, MD and his family organized and hosted the Chicago Millennium Gala Benefit on New Year’s Eve.
Gary Takata supported the IMF Virus Workshop at the VII International Myeloma Workshop in Stockholm, Sweden.
Janet Johnson started and leads the LA Support Group and is the Chairwoman of the "Circle of
Friends" fundraising committee.
And last but not least, I want to thank the Unknown Patient - for everything!
What makes all of you so special is that whether you raise ten dollars or a million, help one other person or a thousand, it’s that your hearts are huge and your reach enormous.