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In view of the recent tragic events befalling our nation, it was somewhat difficult for me to focus on the job at hand ? the IMF fundraising gala. But the IMF must continue in its commitment to the myeloma community to provide research, education and support. We must not alter our course. We must move onward.

At this year?s benefit, the IMF is proud to honor Michael S. Katz. Michael first felt something was wrong in November, 1989 but his diagnosis wasn?t confirmed until August, 1990. He had a plasmacytoma, a single site of a little known cancer called multiple myeloma. With that news, Michael embarked on a journey no one ever wants to take. He was only 37 years old.

Being a man of strong personal belief that one should always help others, it was only natural that Michael would reach out to others diagnosed with multiple myeloma. In 1992, Michael called IMF founder Brian Novis and asked, ?What can I do to help?? The rest, as they say, is history.

Michael helped turn the IMF into an organization able to function at a very high level with very limited resources. For years, Michael travelled from New York to California ? at his own expense ? to help make the IMF the organization it is today.

Here is just a sampling of what Michael Katz has been up to over the years:

? Design and maintenance of the IMF database

? Created and maintains the IMF website

? Started the myeloma and amyloid listservs
(with June Brazil) that serve 1,600 members

? Wrote the Patient Handbook

? Started two New York MM support groups

? Is a frequent contributor to Myeloma Today

? Represents the myeloma community while
serving as: chair of the NCI?s Director?s
Consumer Liaison Group, member of the
NCI?s Advisory Committee to the Director,
co-chair of ECOG?s Patient Representative
Committee, member of the Patient Advisory
Board of the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative
Groups, past-chair of the Association of
Cancer Online Resources, and serves as a
Patient Consultant for the Food and Drug
Administration

? Serves on the IMF?s Board of Directors

The IMF is proud to be able to honor Michael for his work on behalf of the myeloma community and celebrate the progress being made to benefit myeloma patients everywhere!


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