Many people view a new year as an opportunity to make changes and take positive action in their lives. From big changes regarding our personal health (eating healthy, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking) to little ones for personal growth (read more, take up a new hobby, or learn a new language) – we are often self-motivated to make changes to improve ourselves.
As an organization that has actively worked to improve lives and find a cure for myeloma for nearly thirty years, the International Myeloma Foundation is no stranger to self-motivated change.
In fact, you may start noticing some of these changes right away – as we take steps toward unifying the look and feel of all IMF programs and resources. Last week we launched the new look of the IMF’s weekly e-newsletter, the Myeloma Minute. Over the next several months, you will start to see changes to all the ways we communicate with you: from the restructuring of our email messages for better clarity, to the ease of use of our website at myeloma.org.
Even this message is part of the shift we are making to be a more responsive and transparent organization. It’s not enough that we know how important the work is that we’re doing – it’s important that you know how much your support and generosity drives each and every success.
That is why we’re launching this monthly newsletter in 2018. Making Miracles has long been the name of the IMF’s annual print publication celebrating our members’ efforts in fundraising for the IMF. However, we believe it’s important to recognize your contributions – and the progress you make possible – all year long.
Earlier this week, as I was updating some of the presentation materials I use when I meet with our donors, and IMF Chairman of the Board Dr. Brian Durie pointed out that, while multiple myeloma was once considered a “rare” cancer, rates of diagnosis have increased to the point where that is no longer the case. “Five years ago, the number of new cases of myeloma in the United States was around 12,000. Today it’s over 33,000,” he said.
We did the math. Every 15 minutes, someone in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma this year.
That’s an alarming change, and one that adds more urgency for our mission. As the baby boomer generation ages, those numbers will continue to increase, because we know that multiple myeloma is more often diagnosed in people over 65 years of age. We also know that it is twice as likely to be diagnosed in people of African descent.
It is more important than ever for newly diagnosed patients to find the information, support, and treatment options they need to make educated decisions about their care. It is more important than ever that our researchers continue making progress in finding a cure for this terrible disease for those who have been battling it for years, or even decades.
It is my ultimate goal this year to ensure that you understand how your support furthers our mission: to improve lives and find a cure. The IMF has long been recognized as the leader in patient-focused education, research, support, and advocacy.
It's time now for you to be recognized as the driving force behind every one of our successes.
With deep gratitude for your past and continued support,
Senior Director of Development