A highlight every year for IMF Support Group Leaders attending ASH is the Patient Stories and Brian D. Novis Research Grant Awards Reception. Young scientists with meritorious projects are helped in their myeloma research by grants from the IMF. A significant amount of basic and translational knowledge about myeloma the last twenty years has brought us many effective treatments and ever closer to curing our cancer. IMF supporters have funded much of this ongoing effort, and this year in San Diego another group of young scientists were given fresh grants.
Each year three patients are selected to tell their myeloma stories, stories which inspire all of us, especially the young scientists. Tonight I was proud and happy to hear a survivor story I know very well. Ron Hood is an active member of my own local Central Nebraska Multiple Myeloma Support Group. With his faithful caregiver wife Sue encouraging him Ron explained how he sustained a pathologic humerus (upper arm) fracture while swinging a golf club 2 1/2 years ago. Ron said treating myeloma requires teamwork, each warrior on the team contributing to improved awareness, discovery, and treatment of myeloma. Ron and Sue make the 150 mile one way drive to central Nebraska to nearly every monthly meeting, and I can attest to how powerful a warrior he has become. Ron strongly supports other patients in my group as well as others he has met during infusion treatments in Omaha.
All of the patient stories and all of the new research being funded at this evening’s event gives us myeloma patients encouragement. Like Ron we all need to be supportive warriors and keep working for the time when myeloma will be controlled and cured.