Over 52 Million Myeloma Warriors Reached, Creating Ripples Across the Globe for #MyelomaACTIONMonth

2024 Myeloma Action Month Global Campaign Brings Wave of Myeloma Awareness to 36 Countries Worldwide

STUDIO CITY, Calif., April 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — At the conclusion of this year’s Myeloma Action Month, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) was truly grateful and overwhelmed by everyone’s support in making the annual campaign a global success —with over 52 million reached in 36 countries!

Myeloma Action Month is held every year for the entire month of March to encourage individuals and groups to take actions that positively impact the myeloma community.

A Media Snippet accompanying this announcement is available by clicking on this link.

This year, the IMF took action through its worldwide social awareness campaign, centering on the question, “What is the one thing you wish people knew about myeloma?”

With the support of the Global Myeloma Action Network (GMAN), the IMF engaged with the global myeloma community and encouraged those living well with the disease to share their stories of resilience and hope.

Through the power of personal stories and experiences from those affected by multiple myeloma, the #MyelomaACTIONMonth campaign was able to raise global awareness about the disease while strengthening ties with the members of the global myeloma community.

IMF Director for GMAN and European & Middle Eastern Patient Programs Serdar Erdogan was truly elated about GMAN’s role in the #MyelomaACTIONMonth campaign this year—extending the multinational patient-action-focused awareness campaign with the support of thirty myeloma patient organizations around the world.

“From South Korea to Portugal, India to Poland, all myeloma communities spoke as one voice once more for Myeloma Action Month! Our global impact was outstanding in various activities: we ran for our loved ones, educated ourselves and our network, created awareness with action, and put the spotlight on multiple myeloma. Journeys were recounted, and new friendships were formed. Resilience and hopeful messages empowered the pursuit of discovering new treatments. We are stronger together, learning from the incredible strength of people who create a better world!” said Serdar.

31 Days of Creating Ripples with #MyelomaACTIONMonth
Beyond the numbers, this year’s #MyelomaACTIONMonth global campaign created ripples through the power of each myeloma story shared. These ripples converged to create a mighty wave of awareness for multiple myeloma across the globe.

To initiate the “ripple” effect, the IMF asked thought-provoking questions throughout the global campaign. These questions brought an influx of myeloma stories on social media with the hashtag #MyelomaACTIONMonth. These stories were gathered in the Wall of Action to create an uplifting narrative mosaic—accessible to anyone seeking to learn more about myeloma.

The IMF also created an inspirational video mash-up of stories, featuring members of the myeloma community answering the question, “What is the one thing you wish people knew about myeloma?” The video was translated into several languages and shared with the global myeloma community to signify that myeloma has no borders.

Additionally, the IMF hosted Facebook Live Events with key figures in the myeloma community including healthcare professionals and educators.

During these Facebook LIVE Q&A Events, the myeloma community learned about best day-to-day practices to live well with myeloma from IMF NLB Member Beth Faiman; the future of myeloma from IMF Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Mikhael and Dr. Gurbakhash Kaur (UT Southwestern Medical Center—Dallas TX); and the benefits of good nutrition from Dr. Urvi Shah (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—New York, NY).

2024 Boca Raton Patient Family Seminar: A Huge Success
The IMF recently held its annual Patient and Family Seminar (PFS) in Boca Raton, FL from March 15-16, 2024.

One of the highlights of the PFS was a virtual keynote speech made by Saad Usmani, M.D. (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—New York, NY), who presented on “What is the Future of Myeloma?”

More than a dozen sessions covered topics— from the basics of myeloma to the latest in myeloma research. Sessions included Myeloma 101 & Understanding Your Labs, Financial Considerations in Myeloma, and Symptom Management and Living Well with Myeloma and much more.

At the conclusion of the seminar, patients, care partners, their families, and other members of the myeloma community were genuinely excited and grateful for the learnings they gained from world-renowned myeloma experts while bonding with others in the community.

“The IMF Patient and Family Seminar allowed me to have unprecedented access to some of the world’s leading multiple myeloma experts and to also draw strength from other patients on the same journey who shared their experiences, hopes, and concerns in a non-judgmental setting,” said PFS participant Alex Sacharoff.

March for Myeloma 5K: An Engine for Change
#MyelomaACTIONMonth is all about taking action for the disease. This year, the IMF launched the March for Myeloma 5K Run on Friday, March 15 in Boca Raton, FL to encourage everyone to participate in taking action, raising awareness, and finding a cure for myeloma.

The 5K race was not just a run but an engine for change that inspired, transformed, and shifted the narrative for patients and their loved ones—from a place of uncertainty to an embracing myeloma community, united in hope. Runners and walkers alike gathered in Boca Raton, while others joined virtually.

Because of the incredible support from both in-person and virtual participants, the March for Myeloma 5K Run was able to raise over $49,000. Twenty-five virtual participants from around the world joined on-site walkers and runners at Boca Raton and made the 5K run a special, collaborative, and amazing global event.

The IMF extends its warmest congratulations to Dawn’s Legacy for raising $3,105—the highest number of donations from an in-person team; and to the Orange County California Warriors – OCCM Support Group for raising $3,880—the highest amount raised by a virtual team and the highest among in-person and virtual teams combined.

“This year, the IMF launched the March for Myeloma 5K run as an ‘engine for change’—and that’s exactly what it did. Having run myself, the 5K event was symbolic of the IMF’s mission and stance: running or walking alongside myeloma patients, care partners, and other members of the myeloma community throughout the course of their myeloma journeys. By taking action not only for Myeloma Action Month but every single day of the year, the IMF is leading the way in supporting patients to live their fullest life as we pursue the cure for myeloma,” said IMF Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Mikhael.

A Wave of Myeloma Awareness Across the Globe
By encouraging members of the myeloma community to share their stories and experiences of living with the second most common blood cancer in the world—whether as a patient, a family member, a care partner, a researcher, or a healthcare professional—the #MyelomaACTIONMonth global campaign created a wave of myeloma awareness around the world.

Through the tireless efforts of GMAN member organizations—focusing on the needs and topics that are relevant to their respective communities—they were able to build empathy and foster a deeper understanding of the disease.

“As Myeloma Action Month draws to a close, the International Myeloma Foundation is deeply grateful for our global community’s incredible outpouring of support. Throughout March, we’ve witnessed patients, caregivers, researchers, and advocates come together in a powerful display of unity. The stories shared, the voices raised, and the actions taken will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact. We are closer than ever to a world where every myeloma patient can live life to the fullest, unburdened by the disease. Our work continues. Let us carry the momentum forward, keep the conversation going, and ensure that every day turns into a day of action for myeloma. Together, we can make a difference,” said IMF President & CEO and 28-year myeloma survivor Yelak Biru.

“Myeloma Action Month is a powerful reminder that every moment and action make a difference in the lives of myeloma patients and care partners. Our goal of bringing awareness to the myeloma community and beyond is surpassed every year, with the campaign reaching millions of people across the globe. Myeloma has no borders, nor does the IMF; we are here to serve the global community. The IMF is grateful to those who leverage this campaign by helping amplify the importance of education, support, advocacy, and research; and by bringing hope and resilience to the myeloma community at large,” said IMF Vice President of Marketing Peter Anton.

“Having experienced MAM for the first time, I am incredibly inspired by the collective power of a global community that is unwavering in its desire to raise awareness for myeloma and to find a cure and a better quality of life for all myeloma patients. We had people from all walks of life participate in many events and activities throughout the month of March and contribute to advancing the goals for myeloma patients in profound and significant ways,” said IMF Vice President of Development Sylvia Dsouza.

The IMF is grateful to the following Platinum Sponsors for supporting Myeloma Action Month: 2seventy bio, Amgen, Binding Site, Bristol Myers Squibb, GSK, Johnson and Johnson, Karyopharm Therapeutics, Pfizer, Regeneron, and Sanofi.

In 2013, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) led the development of the Global Myeloma Alliance, which later became the Global Myeloma Action Network (GMAN) in 2014. GMAN is composed of multiple myeloma patient organization leaders around the world with the global mission of improving the lives of myeloma patients, raising awareness of multiple myeloma, enhancing the capabilities of patient advocacy groups, building the capacity of local myeloma organizations, and increasing worldwide access to medicine and treatment. GMAN upholds its mission by improving access to care; influencing health policy change favorable to myeloma care, research, and drug access; boosting knowledge and access to clinical research; and enhancing GMAN’s collective capacity through sharing best practices while working together as a global community.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells — white blood cells that make antibodies. A cancerous or malignant plasma cell is called a myeloma cell. Myeloma is called “multiple” because there are frequently multiple patches or areas in bone where it grows. It can appear as both a tumor and/or an area of bone loss, and it affects the places where bone marrow is active in an adult: the hollow area within the bones of the spine, skull, pelvis, rib cage, and the areas around the shoulders and hips.

Founded in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the first and largest global foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation’s reach extends to more than 525,000 members in 140 countries worldwide. The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure by focusing on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. The IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned InfoLine, and in 2001, established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. In 2012, the IMF launched the Black Swan Research Initiative®, a groundbreaking research project aimed at curing myeloma. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org. 

Follow the IMF on:

X: @IMFmyeloma
Instagram: @imfmyeloma
Facebook: @myeloma
LinkedIn: International Myeloma Foundation

Media Contacts:

Peter Anton

Jason London

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