The Hamilton County Commission has proclaimed March 2013 “Myeloma Awareness Month.”
Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is an incurable cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affects blood cell production and can lead to anemia, infections, bone lesions, vertebral compressions, osteoporosis, severe pain and kidney dysfunction.
“We appreciate the County Commission’s help in raising awareness of myeloma,” said Linda Huguelet, leader of the Chattanooga Multiple Myeloma Networking Group.
“This recognition is important because increased awareness will help patients get diagnosed and treated more quickly. Early diagnosis can lengthen survivability and reduce side effects of the disease.”
In the US, there are approximately 100,000 patients, and nearly 20,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Although this is a lot of people, it is still a small enough number to understand why there is a general lack of awareness about myeloma. The disease typically strikes older adults and African-Americans more often than other races.
Ms. Huguelet, a resident of Signal Mountain, was diagnosed in 2010 when she was 46. “Our support group is a place where people with myeloma and their families can learn about the newest treatments available and gain support and advice from those who are living with the disease.” The local support group was founded in 1995 and Ms. Huguelet, along with her husband Jack, began leading the group in 2011. The group meets the third Thursday of each month and is supported by the Memorial Center for Cancer Support and the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF).
Myeloma Awareness Month is sponsored by the International Myeloma Foundation, the leader in global collaborative myeloma research. The IMF brings together the world’s leading experts in the most successful and unique way through the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), which is charting the course to a cure, mentoring the next generation of innovative investigators, and improving lives through better care.
The Chattanooga Multiple Myeloma Networking Group meets the third Thursday of the month, from 6–7:30 p.m., at the Memorial Center for Cancer Support.
For more information, contact Linda Huguelet at 423 779-4907 or go online to www.chattanooga.myeloma.org.
Celebrating its 22nd anniversary, the International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization, reaching more than 215,000 members in 113 countries worldwide. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients and their families, the IMF focuses on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. To date, the IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline, and established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. The IMF can be reached at 800 452-CURE (2873). The global website is myeloma.org