The International Myeloma Foundation: Improving Lives, Finding the Cure
Founded in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the first and largest global organization focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The IMF’s reach extends to more than 525,000 members in 140 countries worldwide.
Our Mission: The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure.
Our Origin Story: Rooted in the Patient Journey
Brian D. Novis was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1989 at age 33. He and wife Susie as well as Brian’s physician at the time, Dr. Brian G.M. Durie, founded the IMF a year later. Together, the three joined forces and set out to educate patients about the little-known blood cancer and available treatment options.
A former executive headhunter, Brian Novis started the IMF with humble beginnings and high hopes. In his garage, he was armed with only a borrowed typewriter while sitting on a lawn chair. By 1991, the disease took an enormous physical toll on Brian. Extensive bone damage forced him to work from his bed at home.
Brian passed away in July 1992, but his dream continues to live on. “In my mind, he gave his life for this Foundation. And there was no way I was going to let it fall apart,” said Susie Durie, IMF Founder and Director of Global Patient Initiatives.
Each day since then, the IMF has pushed ahead — with compassion, innovation, and urgency.
Our Vision: Find a Cure for Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is still often unheard of. Unfortunately, many patients are diagnosed later than they could be. It is a complex disease that presents in a variety of ways. Ways that can be mistaken for other conditions.
Yet, multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer in the world. In the U.S., approximately 35,000 are diagnosed with the disease each year.
Today, there is still no cure for myeloma. The good news: people with the disease are living longer than ever before.
It is the IMF’s vision to support these patients and their loved ones to live the best quality lives possible despite myeloma. Our hope is to one day find a cure for myeloma. That’s why we have a four-pronged approach to our mission: Research, Education, Support, and Advocacy.
Our Four-Pronged Approach
Our Research Team unites the brightest minds in hematology, oncology, and health studies from around the world. The IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative® is our signature project aimed at finding the first definite cure for myeloma. We also lead the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG). The IMWG is a research network of more than 250 multiple myeloma experts from 42 countries. Their collaborations on myeloma diagnosis and treatment response set the standards for healthcare professionals worldwide. In the Asia-Pacific region, the IMF brings together leading myeloma experts with our Asian Myeloma Network. Our Nurse Leadership Board is made up of practicing oncology nurse experts. Together, these research arms join forces to serve patients and one day find a cure.
Our Education Team raises the bar in myeloma awareness. We present workshops and seminars across the U.S. We also develop and provide free myeloma publications and thousands of videos. Our M-Power Initiative serves the needs of people of color who may be underrepresented in the myeloma care continuum.
Our Support Team helps facilitate a network of 150-myeloma-specific support groups. We offer training for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals who volunteer to lead these groups in their communities.
Our Advocacy Team rallies for more affordable options and access to myeloma care for those in the U.S. and abroad. We have a veterans-specific arm, Veterans Against Myeloma. We also advocate for myeloma care internationally through our Global Myeloma Action Network.