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One Community, One Question: What Is Your #MYelomaSTORY?

STUDIO CITY, Calif., April 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At the conclusion of this year’s Myeloma Action Month (MAM), the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) was truly grateful for everyone’s support in making the annual campaign a global success—with over 41 million reached in more than 45 countries!

The IMF leads MAM every March to raise awareness of the disease globally; to encourage individuals and groups to take actions that positively impact the myeloma community; to break down borders and to unite the global myeloma community at large.

One community. One question. Countless stories. This year, the global myeloma community overwhelmingly responded to the question: “What is your #MYelomaSTORY?”  

The IMF gathered inspiring videos and created international video mash-ups that answer the question: “Tell us in one word, what is your myeloma story?”  

“Prior to compiling the videos, we already presumed that many would have similar answers, and that these answers would have even more impact when delivered in different languages. Messages of hope and resilience resonated across the global myeloma community—clearly showing that myeloma has no borders,” said IMF VP of Marketing Peter Anton.

A Media Snippet accompanying this announcement is available by clicking on the image or link below:

The IMF also engaged the IMF Global Myeloma ACTION Network (GMAN) and collaborated with sister organizations in Latin America.

IMF Director of GMAN and European & Middle Eastern Patient Programs Serdar Erdogan was able to gather numerous myeloma stories from across the globe, thanks to the help of organizations. He even took videos of patients and care partners on his own.

“I believe that the power of words was reflected globally. Through their myeloma stories, MAM participants shared something special from their perspective while contributing to the collective definition of what myeloma truly means to the global community,” said Serdar.

By providing a social media venue for patients, care partners, healthcare professionals, myeloma experts, and industry partners to engage and share their stories, the #MYelomaSTORY campaign evoked empathy and fostered hope among members of the myeloma community.

IMF Patient, President and CEO and 27-year myeloma survivor Yelak Biru narrated: “As a young immigrant from Ethiopia, a new husband, and a graduate student, I learned I had multiple myeloma at age 26. While the road of living with myeloma has not always been smooth, it has been paved with many valuable lessons along the way. One of those lessons is that we must learn to live with, and not for, myeloma.”

IMF Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Mikhael, who is actively involved in the IMF’s M-Power Initiative, related: “As an African American myeloma doctor, this has become both a personal and professional mission for me. Part of my ongoing myeloma story is to find solutions to this health inequity by leading the M-Power program; engaging with the community to raise awareness of myeloma; educating primary care providers to improve the early and accurate diagnosis of myeloma; and facilitating hematology/oncology providers in giving enhanced access and culturally sensitive care to all myeloma patients.”

IMF Latin America President and President of Instituto Espaco de Vida Christine Battistini recounted how her myeloma story began in 1997, when her mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in Brazil. “The IMF was there from day one to support us and guide us along the way, as well as to empower and bring us hope in the future.”

“MAM campaigns have helped raise awareness about myeloma throughout the world. And I, as president and founder of the International Myeloma Foundation Latin America, am proud to be part of this mission,” said Christine.

Highlights of MAM 2023
Over 41 million people from more than 45 countries were reached by the #MYelomaSTORY movement this year, where individuals and groups across the globe shared their actions, posts, and photos.   

Some of the highlights of this year’s Myeloma Action Month include:   

  • What is your #MYelomaSTORY?” international video mash-ups where members of the global myeloma community actively participated: Australia, Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, and Turkey.
  • Guest blogs from patients and their care partners on "living with—and not for—myeloma.”   
  • Facebook LIVE events by IMF Nurse Leadership Board Member, Beth Faiman PhD, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, AOCN®, FAAN (2k views) and IMF Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Mikhael (2.1k views) where myeloma stories and advice on living well with the disease were shared, and where lively exchanges between the IMF and the myeloma community ensued.
  • Overwhelming participation in IMF in-person events: the Regional Community Workshop in San Diego, CA, and Patient Family Seminar in Boca Raton.
  • The IMF 31-Day Wellness Challenge where over 40 Support Groups logged over 45,000 minutes of movement, mindfulness, and self-care.
  • A Social Media Toolkit where myeloma facts, stats, and other graphics were shared and translated into 10 languages: Czech, French, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.
  • An abundance of shared snapshots from members of the myeloma community using the MAM website photo uploader.
  • Learnings from the Wall of #MYelomaSTORY and story-based infographics where stats and facts were shared by patients and care partners with firsthand experience living with myeloma.
  • Kind and generous donations to the IMF’s research, education, support, and advocacy efforts.

Overall, MAM 2023 became a powerful testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit, as well as the IMF's unwavering dedication to improving the lives of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure.

Active sponsor participation  
Thanks to the kind and generous contributions of individuals and groups, the IMF is delighted to announce that MAM 2023 made an enormous impact on the global myeloma community— for every myeloma patient, caregiver, nurse, doctor, and advocate—by evoking empathy and fostering hope through the #MYelomaSTORY campaign. 

The IMF is grateful to the following sponsors for supporting MAM 2023 and for actively participating and engaging in the #MYelomaSTORY campaign: 2seventy bio, AbbVie, Amgen, Binding Site, Bristol Myers Squibb, GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Karyopharm Therapeutics, Pfizer, Regeneron, Sanofi, and Takeda Oncology.

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

Follow the IMF on:  
Twitter: @IMFmyeloma  
Instagram: @imfmyeloma   
Facebook: @myeloma   
LinkedIn: International Myeloma Foundation  

Media Contacts:

Peter Anton

Jason London

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