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|Patients with Multiple Myeloma and Their Supporters Are Hiking Peru’s Inca Trail To Machu Picchu to Bolster Awareness and Drive Fundraising for Cancer Research|
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), Takeda and
PLAINSBORO, N.J. (August 8, 2016) — From Aug. 9 through 14, a team of 20 multiple myeloma patients, caregivers, physicians, nurses and supporters will hike along Peru’s arduous Inca Trail leading to the ruins of Machu Picchu to raise funds for research and build awareness around the incurable blood cancer. The Inca Trail trek is the third event for Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma, a collaboration between the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), CURE Media Group and Takeda, which has raised nearly $500,000 to date for critically needed myeloma research.
Ascending to a height of more than 9,000 feet, the route the team will use is a rare and challenging opportunity to traverse the Sacred Valley and enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate (Intipunku). The 16-kilometer trek will begin at the Chachabamba Entrance on the Urubamba river and take hikers through the Andes Mountains over the course of seven to nine hours. The previous Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma events were similarly intensive treks up Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro in January and into Arizona’s Grand Canyon in May.
Jeff Stiles, one of four patients with multiple myeloma on the trek, is a 46-year-old police officer from Kodak, Tenn. He was diagnosed with the rare cancer in 2014 and plans to take on the Inca Trail to inspire others and embrace an outdoor adventure. “Hiking and being outside have had an almost spiritual impact on me and always improve my mental state,” he said. “This reason, as well as being on the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma team as an example of strength for others, has brought me to this point in my journey.”
Other patients living with multiple myeloma on the MM4MM team are Cindi McNair, 52, of Lincoln, Nebr.; Evelyn Bhattacharya, 76, of New York, N.Y.; and Klaas de Weerth, 52, also of New York.
"The MMRF continues to lead collaborative, cutting-edge scientific efforts to conduct multiple myeloma research, with a particular emphasis in the promising area of precision medicine,” said Paul Giusti, MMRF president and CEO. “Working with our partners at Takeda and CURE, we’re able to create awareness and help generate the necessary funds to support this important research. What is particularly gratifying is to see multiple myeloma patients working side-by-side with us, battling their disease and taking positive steps to bring us ever closer to a cure.”
“CURE Magazine is honored to be a founding partner of Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma,” said Marty Murphy, director of patient education, CURE/OncLive, for CURE Media Group. “This program brings together pharmaceutical companies, advocacy groups, cancer patients, caregivers, physicians and nurses with the mission to raise money, awareness and create hope and inspiration for all cancer patients.”
Shawn Goodman, Head of Global Oncology Corporate Communications at Takeda, said, “During my 19 years with the company, I have had the privilege of hearing the personal stories of many courageous people who are battling this disease and have been part of an incredibly passionate team launching novel, transformative multiple myeloma treatments for patients around the world. I joined the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma Machu Picchu team to contribute in a new way to improving the lives of people with multiple myeloma – raising funds and showing my support alongside patients during the trek.”
Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of the blood. According to the National Cancer Institute, patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma have less than a 50 percent chance of survival beyond five years. While great progress has been made in recent years to develop novel treatments, continued research funding is critically needed to get to the ultimate goal: a cure. Every dollar raised by the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma team will go to the MMRF research efforts to accelerate next-generation treatments.
About Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website, www.takeda.com, and additional information about Takeda Oncology, the brand for the global oncology business unit of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, is available through its website, www.takedaoncology.com.
About CURE Media Group
Sharon L. Saias