The IMF applauds the efforts of the volunteer leaders that conduct local myeloma support group meetings and virtual meetings.
The IMF is cautiously optimistic for local support groups to return back to in-person meetings when it’s safe in your community. We suggest that each group follow local, state and federal guidelines to help the volunteer leaders to determine when it will be safe to start meeting in-person again. The IMF will continue to provide Zoom licenses to all myeloma support groups that still meet virtually or have hybrid meetings. Please contact the group leader for meeting details.
For additional updates on COVID-19 coronavirus, please click this link: Myeloma Patient Safety and the Coronavirus.
You may also wish to refer to www.cdc.gov for information and guidance on specifics for travel, vaccinations, variants and when/how to gather safely.
Introducing Special Interest Virtual Support Groups
The IMF recognizes the value and importance of local support groups. Based on the success of these local groups moving to virtual meetings due to Covid-19, we also see an unmet need and how the IMF can expand the value to meet certain patients and caregivers with specific challenges.
- Patients & Caregivers who have Young Families
With a focus to provide strength and inspiration through education, empathy, empowerment and encouragement to multiple myeloma patients and caregivers who have young children.”
- Las Voces de Mieloma
Un grupo de apoyo voluntario para pacientes interesados, se anima a los cuidadores, familiares y amigos a unirse a nosotros. Se trata de una excelente manera de conocer e interactuar con otros supervivientes y cuidadores para conocer los últimos avances en el tratamiento y la gestión del mieloma.
Each of these groups are supplementary to and expand the value of the local myeloma support groups.
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Robin Tuohy worked as a paralegal for over 10 years at a Fortune 500 company before marrying Michael, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2000, and having children Ally and Mikey. She became involved with the IMF and attended Advocacy Days in Washington, DC, in 2001, and then began the first support group for multiple myeloma patients in Connecticut with the help of the IMF. She feels her experience as Michael's caregiver gives her a unique perspective on multiple myeloma. The Tuohy family carried their message of life after diagnosis across the country in 2007 on the Myeloma Mobile. Robin's motto is "The purpose of life is a life of purpose," and she hopes that she is able to help others dealing with multiple myeloma.
Kelly Cox spearheads IMF’s Regional Community Workshops, events that bring the most cutting-edge research and top multiple myeloma doctors to patients, caregivers, and healthcare workers across the country. Kelly also works closely with 40 support groups nationwide, carrying the IMF’s mission directly to those affected by multple myeloma. Kelly brings enthusiasm and energy to multiple myeloma awareness and outreach wherever he travels for personal visits, as well as via phone calls and emails.
Kelly worked for Warner Bros. International Television for three years prior to arriving at the IMF. He specialized in marketing, product management, and international placement for shows such as “Friends,” “E.R.” and “Smallville,” among others. Prior to this Kelly was involved with fundraising for specialized research into diseases of the retina, including macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
Nancy Bruno has been active in Support Groups since shortly after her husband Mike was diagnosed with mulitple myeloma in late 1998. What began as comprehensive note-taking during support group meetings led to her becoming a writer for the group’s newsletter. When Andy Lebkuecher’s wife, Cathy, died in December 2006, Andy asked Nancy to lead their local Atlanta group temporarily, "and I haven’t stopped." Her energy and commitment will continue as Regional Director of Support Groups.
Jon Fitzpatrick worked with the IMF for several years as a volunteer before joining our team as the Support Group Coordinator. He is excited to turn his passion for helping others into a career. Jon’s interest in working closely with multiple myeloma patients and caregivers was sparked as a result of his experience in the field of emergency response.
Kelley Sidorowicz joined the IMF’s Support Group team in 2019 after previously being part of the Advocacy team since 2016, working on federal and state policy issues as well as helping the IMF to grow our grassroots network. Previously, she worked in the health and wellness community as a certified health and wellness educator, personal trainer, and yoga instructor. Kelley holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from Frostburg State University. She resides in Southern Maryland.
Support groups bring together myeloma patients, caregivers, family members & friends. Patients involved in a support group experience more positive outcomes due to their understanding of treatment options and enables them to have key conversations with their healthcare team.
The International Myeloma Foundation has joined forces with Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute’s Disparities & Outreach program to empower people in the Charlotte, North Carolina area to help change the course of myeloma. M-Power Charlotte is dedicated to removing barriers to care and improving outcomes in the disease.
Meet other patients, caregivers, and their families at a myeloma support group in Canada. There are support groups in every province. Some groups hold in-person meetings, while others schedule online or telephone meetings.
Smart Patients is an online community where patients and caregivers affected by complex illness learn from each other about treatments, challenges, and how it all fits into the context of their experience.
Two-day educational patient, family, and caregiver support in your hometown.
These one-day workshops offer families a condensed version of the full Patient & Family Seminar at no charge.
We have the most cutting-edge and up-to-date information about navigating the multiple myeloma world.