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April 2001 Volume 4, Issue 4:
News & Notes - April 2001

Save the Date

Last year?s IMF Ribbon of Hope ? Making a World of Difference 10th Anniversary Gala in New York City was a huge success, thanks in large part to the hard work and commitment of many of our readers! This year, on October 20th, we will be celebrating in our own backyard, at the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles. The IMF is pleased to welcome back Robin Leach as our Master of Ceremonies and Guest Auctioneer. He did a smashing job last year entertaining all in attendance while raising thousands of dollars from the auctions. This year?s spectacular evening will include a Cirque-esque cocktail reception and silent auction with lots of fun and surprises, as well as dinner, dancing and a live auction. In addition to attending the event, IMFers can participate in several ways: by selling dinner tickets ($300 each), sponsoring tables ($5,000-$25,000) or soliciting Tribute Journal ads ($250-$25,000). We are also looking for fabulous auction items ? trips, spa days, restaurants, etc. We welcome your participation. To find out more about how you can help, please contact Suzanne Battaglia at (800) 452-2873, ext. 227, or e-mailsbattaglia@myeloma.org.

Join the IMF for a Banff Update

The upcoming IMF Los Angeles Community Workshop has been strategically scheduled as a follow up to the VIIIth International Myeloma Workshop in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Invited faculty includes IMF Scientific Advisors Dr. Brian Durie, Dr. Kenneth Anderson and Dr. JamesBerenson.

The meeting will take place on Saturday, June 9th from 9:00AM to 3:00PM at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City, California. IMF Community Workshops are always free of charge, however, registration is required. For more information, please contact Renee Rape at (800) 452-2873, ext. 227, or e-mailrlrape@myeloma.org.

Northeast IMF Patient & Family Seminar

The Stamford, Connecticut Patient & Family Seminar will be held on October 12-13 at the Westin Stamford. The IMF has secured special room rates of $99.00 plus tax per night, double occupancy. Please contact the hotel directly at (203) 967-2222. To make a reservation for the seminar, please contact Renee Rape of the IMF.

Becoming an Advocate

The National Cancer Institute is looking for 150 cancer survivors and family members to take part in NCI projects. The Consumer Advocates in Research & Related Activities (CARRA) program will enable consumers to participate in NCI forums, allowing those affected by cancer to provide their viewpoints and ideas directly to NCI staff.

IMFer Don Woodward has been accepted to the CARRA program for a 3-year term. What a great way to help the myeloma community increase its presence within the NCI!

If you are interested in participating, please note the following: the CARRA program is a 3-year commitment; you must participate in one or more activities; projects range from reviewing cancer education pamphlets, videos and websites to participating in meetings and providing opinions about NCI research plans; orientation and training is provided. To obtain an application to CARRA, call (301) 594-3194,e-mail liaison@od.nci.nih.gov or download fromhttp://liaison.cancer.gov/CARRA.

Face to Face

When multiple myeloma patient Jarvis Seccombe and his wife Diane first contacted the IMF two years ago, it was Suzanne Battaglia who answered the Hotline. Many calls followed and a phone friendship was forged. So when Suzanne travelled to Vail to meet her newborn grandson, the Seccombes, who live in Colorado, greeted her at the Denver airport and drove her there. On the way, they stopped for breakfast and took a photo to commemorate a meeting two years in the making.

New Publication in the Works

The IMF is in the process of putting the finishing touches on a new publication, Understanding Thalidomide Therapy. The use of thalidomide for the treatment of multiple myeloma is currently under investigation in clinical trials. The new booklet is meant to provide the patient with general information on thalidomide treatment. This publication is sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant from Celgene Corporation and should be available by summer 2001.

IMF Welcomes New Support Groups

The IMF is pleased to announce the formation of two new multiple myeloma support groups. IMFers in Springfield, VT and Chattanooga, TN have answered the call to organize regular support meetings. If you wish to join, please contact the group coordinators ? Ann Waldman in Vermont at (802) 885-3672 and Nina Valentine inTennessee at (423) 267-7139.

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