NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Sept. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Tuohy, who was diagnosed 18 years ago with the blood cancer multiple myeloma, will throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Houston Astros baseball game on September 16 as fellow patients cheer him on. Michael is representing the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), the first and largest foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma.
Amgen Oncology is sponsoring the ceremonial throw at Minute Maid Park—and welcoming Houston-area myeloma patients to the game—with the intent of raising awareness of this little-known disease and encouraging patients to work with their doctors to create a personal treatment management strategy. Through its newly launched Myeloma MVP (Most Valuable Plan) program, Amgen is connecting myeloma patients with management guidance tools and educational resources, including the comprehensive IMF website.
The Myeloma MVP program provides a national platform for the myeloma-awareness message by sharing personal stories from a trio of high-profile figures associated with Major League Baseball (MLB) who have been touched by the disease:
- Steve Garvey, 10-time MLB All-Star and former World Series champion, whose father-in-law was diagnosed with myeloma and ultimately died of the disease
- Don Baylor, Jr., son of Don Baylor, a former MLB player and coach who passed away following a 14-year battle with multiple myeloma in 2017
- Dave Winfield, 12-time MLB All-Star and Hall-of-Famer, Don Baylor's close friend and former teammate
"By sharing their stories, these men can have a tremendous impact on myeloma awareness," said IMF president and co-founder Susie Durie. "For nearly 30 years, the IMF has worked tirelessly around the world to raise myeloma awareness, improve access to treatment, and advocate for myeloma patients and caregivers. In 2012, we launched the Black Swan Research Initiative® to find a definitive cure for myeloma, and we are learning that an early diagnosis can positively impact the course of the disease."
Added IMF Chairman Brian G.M. Durie, MD, "Although myeloma is not yet curable, the IMF is making tremendous strides toward a cure. Dozens of simultaneous IMF Black Swan research projects around the world are beginning to reveal how myeloma works, what may cause it, and how to best eliminate it – ideally, before the disease even begins."
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
Founded in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the first and largest 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 Twitter @IMFmyeloma.
ABOUT MULTIPLE MYELOMA
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.
SOURCE International Myeloma Foundation