More than 150 IMFers turned out for the 28th IMF Patient & Family Seminar, held in St. Louis, MO on June 9th and 10th.
The St. Louis seminar offered a unique trial format of hosting "Myeloma 101: Myeloma for Beginners" on Friday morning. The Friday session, led by Dr. Brian Durie and Dr. Morie Gertz, was designed to bring seminar first-timers up-to-speed on myeloma basics, in preparation for the in-depth Saturday session.
On Saturday, Dr. Morie Gertz presented information on standard treatment options for myeloma patients; Dr. Greg Mundy discussed bone disease; Dr. David Vesole presented information on high dose therapy; Maureen Carling, RN covered pain management; and Dr. Brian Durie presented an update on the use of thalidomide in treating multiple myeloma.
As a new component to the Patient & Family Seminar, the IMF launched the "Face-ing Cancer" campaign. A joint project with the National Coalition for Cancer Research, "Face-ing Cancer" is an advocacy program designed to link the individual faces and experiences of people and families facing cancer with the effort to increase federal funding for cancer research, prevention and control. Much like a letter writing campaign, "Face-ing Cancer" uses pre-printed postcards outlining desired funding increases for the NCI, NIH and CDC. On the front of the card, participants attach a photograph. Cards are then sent to individual state senators, each card presenting the face of someone who has personally been touched by cancer.
To kick-off the IMF?s participation in "Face-ing Cancer," IMFers posed for photos during the Friday evening welcome dinner (with the help of our on-the-spot photographer, Andy Lebkuecher!) and nearly every one of the dinner guests took part. The film was sent out for 1-hour processing (delivered by our fabulous volunteer, Andy!) and the photos were attached to postcards. The names and addresses of individual state senators were made available and with the help of our marvelous volunteer (thanks again, Andy!), nearly all 90 photographs were addressed and ready for mailing during the seminar. In addition, IMFers responded in full force, taking extra postcards with them to distribute to family and friends. By the end of the weekend, nearly 250 postcards had been distributed!
Based on the success of the IMF?s first "Face-ing Cancer" campaign, there are plans to expand the program to include support groups, area schools and any other groups or organizations that wish to participate. The IMF is working to create a strong showing of support for "Face-ing Cancer" throughout the nation. Regardless of where you live, the IMF encourages you to participate in this effort. It is important that we all work together as a unified voice for the multiple myeloma community. The "Face-ing Cancer" campaign is one simple way to do your part!
Editor?s note: To implement a "Face-ing Cancer" postcard campaign in your home town, please contact Stephanie Colman, IMF Director of Community Relations and Public Affairs via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (800) 452-CURE.