I am one of the ten support group leaders attending ASH with the International Myeloma Foundation. I've had the privilege of attending ASH in the past and still find this meeting full of information and hope for myeloma patients' futures.
To give you a feel for what it's like to be at ASH attending the oral sessions, the rooms are PACKED with researchers and doctors who want to learn the latest in the world of myeloma. Some of these oral session auditoriums seat thousands of people.
While sitting in one of the oral sessions on Sunday, a young woman turned around and asked me if I was with the International Myeloma Foundation. I responded yes, and she told me that she met my wife, Robin, and I last year at the IMF Research Grant Awards program. She had received an award last year and we had the chance to chat more with her about her research. We even took a picture with her.
Charitha Madiraju , Pharm., PhD, went from receiving an IMF Research Award last year, to this year receiving the honor of having a poster at ASH! Quite an amazing feat to say the least. Charitha, who works in the Reed Lab, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in LaJolla, CA, was so excited about presenting her poster that evening, she invited us to attend.
She was so grateful to the IMF for the initial grant, and I came away with the feeling of how wonderful it is that this IMF Grant Award program exists to encourage young researchers to get interested in the field of myeloma!
Congratulations to ALL this year's IMF Research Grant Award recipients. We can only hope that their futures in myeloma will include posters and more at next year's ASH! Who knows, one of them may even find a new drug, or shall I be so bold to say CURE, for myeloma!