Team of 20 dedicated climbers, including multiple myeloma patients, to summit mountain in Japan
(Cranbury, N.J. – July 13, 2017) – A 20-person team, including patients with multiple myeloma, caregivers, healthcare providers and supporters, will set off to summit Japan's iconic Mt. Fuji on July 19. The group is taking on this challenge to drive awareness of multiple myeloma and fundraising for critical myeloma research as part of the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program (MM4MM), a collaboration between the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), CURE Media Group and Takeda.
All proceeds from the Mt. Fuji climb will benefit the MMRF's life-extending efforts to accelerate the development of multiple myeloma treatments. To date, MM4MM participants have raised more than $1.1 million while completing a total of five expeditions: Africa's highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro (twice), the Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Trail (twice) and Machu Picchu's Inca Trail. Additional climbs are planned for 2018, including a trek to Everest Base Camp.
"We are inspired by this team and grateful to Takeda and CURE for their continued support of the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program. Funds raised by programs like these help the MMRF continue to accelerate precision medicine-based therapies which identify the best treatment for every patient," said MMRF CEO and President, Paul Giusti.
Mount Fuji, which stands at 12,289 feet (3,776 meters) in elevation, is the highest and most celebrated mountain in Japan. During the two-day hike, climbers will face steep terrain, high altitude hiking conditions and extreme weather changes. The team will rest in high mountain hiking huts on tatami mats before embarking on an overnight hike in order to witness a Japanese sunrise from the summit. This year, the Mount Fuji team includes six patients living with multiple myeloma:
- Deana Dietzler, of Cranberry Township, Pa., was diagnosed with multiple myeloma six years ago. After getting in touch with the MMRF, Deanna participated in several programs including the Empire State Run Up and Atlanta 5K. She hopes to increase awareness and raise funds to help fight this disease.
- Jeff Monsein, of Durham, N.C., has supported the MMRF since his diagnosis in 2012. He is taking on this challenge to show his gratitude towards the organization and to support other patients, who might not be as fortunate as him.
- Leslie Perron, of Princeton, Texas was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013. After two rounds of high-dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, Leslie is in a remission. By participating in this program, she aims to raise funds to support research advancements.
- Patti Bivona, of Boulder, Colo., had been an avid runner prior to being diagnosed with smoldering myeloma. Although myeloma no longer interrupts her day-to-day life, she knows that this can change at any moment. Through this program, Patti hopes to raise funds and awareness.
- Steve Albano, of Menlo Park, Calif., was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2011 and quickly noticed the disease slowing him down. Now in remission, Steve says that this climb is an opportunity to motivate newly diagnosed patients and to prove to himself that "life doesn't end with a myeloma diagnosis."
- Ryan Anthony, of Synnyvale, Texas, was a successful trumpet soloist and clinician until he was diagnosed with myeloma during Thanksgiving week in 2012. After going through an autologous stem cell transplant, Ryan is in complete remission and is embarking on this climb to celebrate his one-year "birthday."
"As Head of Patient Advocacy for Takeda Oncology, I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to spend time with many individuals afflicted with multiple myeloma to understand their journey and how their voice can be better incorporated into the development of new medicines," said Liz Lewis, Chief Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer, Head, Patient Advocacy at Takeda. "The MM4MM Mt. Fuji expedition is the perfect opportunity for me to walk step by step with patients and caregivers in solidarity against multiple myeloma. I'm honored to raise awareness and research funds through this inspiring program."
"We are honored to share a continuous partnership with Takeda and MMRF," said Michael J. Hennessy Jr., president of Michael J. Hennessy Associates Inc., parent company of CURE Media Group. "It's exciting to bring together such a passionate group, who are determined to raise awareness about multiple myeloma."
To learn more about Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma and to donate to multiple myeloma research, please visit https://endurance.themmrf.org/2017Fuji.
About Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma
Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma is supported by the MMRF, CURE Media Group and Takeda. In addition to the Mt. Fuji 2017 climb, Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma treks planned for 2018 include a trip to Everest Base Camp in March. Funds raised by the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma endeavors will go directly to research, supporting the MMRF mission. For more information, visit http://www.movingmountainsformultiplemyeloma.com.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, which are found in the bone marrow. In multiple myeloma, a group of plasma cells, or myeloma cells, becomes cancerous and multiplies, increasing the number of plasma cells to a higher than normal level. Because plasma cells circulate widely in the body, they have the potential to affect many bones in the body, possibly resulting in compression fractures, lytic bone lesions and related pain. Multiple myeloma can cause a number of serious health problems affecting the bones, immune system, kidneys and red blood cell count, with some of the more common symptoms including bone pain and fatigue, a symptom of anemia. Multiple myeloma is a rare form of cancer, with more than 26,000 new cases in the U.S. and 114,000 new cases globally each year.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The mission of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is to find a cure for multiple myeloma by relentlessly pursuing innovation that accelerates the development of next-generation treatments to extend the lives of patients. Founded in 1998 by Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient, and her twin sister Karen Andrews as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, the MMRF is a world-recognized leader in cancer research. Together with its partners, the MMRF has created the only end-to-end solution in precision medicine and the single largest genomic dataset in all cancers. The MMRF continues to disrupt the industry today, as a pioneer and leader at the helm of new research efforts.
Since its inception, the organization has raised over $330 million and directs nearly 90 percent of the total funds to research and related programs. The MMRF has received the "Best in America" Seal of Excellence from the Independent Charities of America and Charity Navigator's 4-star rating for twelve years. The MMRF has also been recognized by Philanthropedia as one of 16 expert-identified, high-impact nonprofits in the field of cancer. To learn more, visit http://www.themmrf.org.
About CURE Media Group
CURE Media Group is the leading resource for cancer updates, research and education. It combines a full suite of media products, including its industry leading website, CUREtoday.com; innovative video programs, such as CURE Connections®; a series of widely attended live events; and CURE® magazine, which reaches over 1 million readers. CURE Media Group is part of the Cranbury, New Jersey – based Michael J. Hennessy Associates, Inc., family of businesses, which includes the acclaimed OncLive® (http://www.onclive.com) platform of resources for the practicing oncologist. For more information, visit http://www.curetoday.com or http://www.mjhassoc.com.
About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a global, research and development-driven pharmaceutical company committed to bringing better health and a brighter future to patients by translating science into life-changing medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system therapeutic areas plus vaccines. Takeda conducts R&D both internally and with partners to stay at the leading edge of innovation. New innovative products, especially in oncology and gastroenterology, as well as our presence in Emerging Markets, fuel the growth of Takeda. More than 30,000 Takeda employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients, working with our partners in health care in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit http://www.takeda.com/news.
Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website, http://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, http://www.takedaoncology.com.
CURE Media Group
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Anne Quinn Young, MPH
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications