For the past three decades, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) has strived to improve the quality of life of myeloma patients and work towards prevention and a cure. These goals were established in 1990 by Susie Durie; her late husband, Brian Novis; and Brian G.M. Durie, MD. From what started in a garage with a borrowed typewriter, a lawn chair, and lots of hope, the IMF is now the largest organization focusing specifically on multiple myeloma.
As the organization approaches its 30th anniversary, the IMF’s reach extends to more than 525,000 members in 140 countries worldwide.
According to the National Cancer Institute’s SEER program, an estimated 32,110 new cases of multiple myeloma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2019 alone. Currently, an estimated 124,733 people are living with myeloma in the U.S., and globally, nearly 160,000 new cases are projected to be diagnosed within the year. Additionally, multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer in the world. The IMF is working to their mission with their four founding principles: Research, Education, Support, and Advocacy.
The IMF leads the charge in the search for a cure with its signature research program the Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI). The BSRI is a multi-faceted program comprised of the world’s leading multiple myeloma experts whose mission is the prevention, treatment, and cure for multiple myeloma. The BSRI’s myeloma prevention initiative, Iceland Screens Treats or Prevents Multiple Myeloma® (iStopMM), is the world’s largest myeloma prevention-focused study. To date, the study has tested more than 50,000 participants blood samples over the age of 40, performed approximately 900 bone marrow tests, and has begun potential early intervention therapy for participants with pre-myeloma markers.
To encourage a dynamic and proactive approach to raising awareness, the IMF declared March as “Myeloma Action Month.” The initiative empowers patients living with the disease, their loved ones, and their healthcare providers to take actions that save lives. These Myeloma Warriors work to raise awareness for multiple myeloma on a global scale.
On April 2, 2019, the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) awarded Susie Durie and Brian G.M. Durie, MD, a joint honorary doctorate for scientific excellence. The VUB recognized the worldwide impact the IMF has created through the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities, along with its dedication to inform, involve, and educate myeloma patients.
On August 23-24, 2019, the IMF will be holding its largest Patient & Family Seminar of the year. These seminars enable patients and their families to learn about the latest developments in myeloma from world-renowned myeloma experts. The interactive environment of these events ensures individual patients the opportunity to have their questions addressed in a one-on-one setting. The seminars also create a valuable opportunity for patients to meet others touched by myeloma. To sign up, visit the IMF website.
The IMF’S 13th Annual Comedy Celebration honoring Peter Boyle and benefitting the Black Swan Research Initiative will be held October 17, 2019, at the historic Beverly Hilton Hotel. Actor and comedian Ray Romano will host an all-star lineup of comedy legends. Previous years have included performances from Jimmy Kimmel, Gabriel Iglesias, Tig Notaro, and many more. This event, along with other fundraising opportunities, allows the IMF to continue providing much-needed support to those affected by myeloma along with furthering its breakthrough research to find a cure. Click here for more information on the annual event. To be a sponsor of the event, contact the IMF’s Director of Corporate Giving, Maria Del Rio-Gomez here.
Click here to learn more about the ways the IMF is helping to improve the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure, as well as how you can support them. The International Myeloma Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.