Mayor Jim Coppinger has proclaimed March 2021 “Myeloma Action Month” in Hamilton County.
Mayor Coppinger joins Tennessee Governor Bill Lee who declared March as “Myeloma Action Month” across the state of Tennessee and Chairman Shannon Whitfield, who declared it in Walker County, Ga.
According to the International Myeloma Foundation, myeloma, also referred to as multiple myeloma, is an incurable cancer of cells in the bone marrow. Myeloma currently affects more than 100,000 people in the United States, with an estimated 33,000 new cases to be diagnosed this year. Myeloma is twice as common in African Americans and is becoming more common in younger patients, with possible links to environmental toxins.
“Mayor Coppinger’s continued support to help raise awareness of myeloma in Hamilton County is greatly appreciated,” said Linda Huguelet co-leader of the Chattanooga Multiple Myeloma Networking Group. “Increased awareness can lead to earlier diagnosis for others which can promote better outcomes and help them avoid some of the side effects I experienced prior to my diagnosis.” Ms. Huguelet experienced some of the most common symptoms for months, such as anemia and on-going back pain, prior to her diagnosis.
Ms. Huguelet, who lives in Signal Mountain, was diagnosed in 2010 at the age of 46, which is about 20 years younger than the average myeloma patient. She and her husband, Jack, have co-led the Chattanooga support group since 2011. “Our networking group is a place where people with myeloma and their families can learn about the newest treatments available and gain support and education from those who have been living with the disease.”
The Chattanooga Multiple Myeloma Networking Group meets the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. The group is currently meeting virtually due to COVID-19.
Myeloma Action Month is sponsored by the International Myeloma Foundation, which is the oldest myeloma foundation and is the leader in global collaborative myeloma research. The IMF brings together the world’s leading myeloma experts through the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) and is charting a path to a cure through the foundation’s signature project, the Black Swan Research Initiative.
For more information about the Chattanooga Multiple Myeloma Networking Group, contact Ms. Huguelet at 423-779-4907, or go to www.MyelomaChattanooga.org for more information.