For the past eleven years, the IMF has been serving the myeloma community. You've often heard me refer to us as family. Our family has grown significantly since 1990 but one important factor has remained the same. We've always been an international family - that's the "I" in our name. From the very beginning, when the IMF consisted of just three people with a dream, we were international: a South African, a Scotsman and an American. Soon, we were joined by a group of myeloma experts from around the world, our Scientific Advisory Board, expanding on our initial global family.
Today, the IMF has over 78,000 members in 64 countries. We help myeloma patients and their families no matter where they live. All members of the myeloma community, no matter what language they speak, share a common bond. Most of us in the United States are fortunate to have access to great resources, but for many people who live elsewhere that is not the case. We've met patients, family members, caregivers, doctors and nurses who work under very difficult conditions.
We know that knowledge is power. It gives people back a sense of control. It helps make intelligent treatment choices. It improves outcomes and restores hope. Since 1992, the IMF has been reaching out and lending support to the global myeloma community by conducting educational meetings all over the world. It’s the right thing to do.
The IMF is able to help our global family and conduct these seminars thanks to the funding support we receive from the international offices of pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis Pharmaceuticals Basel, RobaPharm and Schering Plough. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of myeloma patients everywhere - and after all, that’s what it’s all about.