After a long and educational first day--a day of updates and understanding, of mixing and mentoring, we were ready to party! But first the support group leaders had their picture taken. This could have been a nightmare, trying to wrangle this group, but it was easy because these guys know something about compliance! Everyone lined up by height and smiled when Jim Needham, who stood on a ten foot ladder with a very heavy camera, told them to say cheese.
Afterwards, wine and appetizers were served in the foyer of the ballroom, giving us a chance to sit and talk with each other, which is always fun. So much fun that it wasn't hard to follow Alan Kumamoto's final instruction of the day: "I want you to make three new friends tonight." We then went inside for a delicious dinner where we toasted the FDA approval of Onyx's Kyprolis and our good fortune to have another drug in the myeloma treatment armamentarium.
After we had consumed enough food to make us happily quiet, the Advocacy Team presented their Second Annual Academy Awards of Advocacy to leaders who had taken the time to testify or work on behalf of the Oral Parity efforts. Each winner received an Oscar statue to drum rolls and Olympic music at the end of a red carpet. With the lights down and the spotlight shining, the winners were honored for their hard work and dedication to our advocacy program--and for going above and beyond to have their voices heard on behalf of all cancer patients.
And the winners were... Jerry Walton (Norfolk, VA), Johanna Jones (San Diego, CA), Nick Menedis (Columbus, OH), Darlene Jessee (Johnson City, TN), John Killip (Kansas City, MO), Sue VanDuyn (Grand Rapids, MI), Paula Van Riper (Central New Jersey), and Cindy Chmielewski (Philadelphia, PA). Absent winners - Jim Omel (Grand Island, NE), and Anthony Sibert (Riverside, CA). Congratulations to all of our All-Star Advocates!
Cindy Chmielewski on the red carpet
Darlene Jessee receiving her award.
Meghan and Aimee with Nick Menedis.
From left to right, we have Darlene Jessee, Cindy Chmielewski, Sue VanDyun, John Killip, Joanna Jones, Nick Menedis, Paula van Riper and Jerry Walton. Not pictured are winners Jim Omel, Anthony Sibert, and Rob and Sue Enright.
And then it was off to our rooms to watch the opening of the Olympics in London before we passed out.
The next day there would be a big surprise for the leaders. And I mean BIG! Stay tuned.