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Multiple Myeloma Patients and Caregivers Hike Through Grand Canyon to Raise Funds and Awareness for Cancer Research

Multiple Myeloma Patients and Caregivers Hike Through Grand Canyon to Raise Funds and Awareness for Cancer Research

CalendarMay 2, 2017News Releases

Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma Initiative Surpasses $1 Million in Donations to Fund Next-Generation Treatments

(Cranbury, NJ- May 1, 2017) - On May 4, a 15-person team of patients with multiple myeloma and caregivers will hike the Bright Angel Trail on the Grand Canyon's Southern Rim. The group is taking on this challenge as part of the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program, a continued fundraising initiative between the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), CURE Media Group and Takeda that has now raised more than $1 million to fund research and innovation to improve the lives of patients. In addition, the collaboration was recently named the 2017 'Most Valuable Pharma Collaboration' at the eyeforpharma awards for the Moving Mountains initiative.

All proceeds from the Grand Canyon trek will benefit the MMRF’s efforts to accelerate the development of multiple myeloma treatments and support the MMRF’s ground-breaking Precision Medicine initiative which aspires to ensure that patients get the right treatment at the right time. To date, Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma participants – encompassing patients, caregivers, physicians and nurses and other supporters – have completed a total of four expeditions, including two climbs of Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. The upcoming Grand Canyon hike and additional climbs planned for 2017 and 2018 continue to drive funds for research centered on advancing therapies for multiple myeloma.

“We are honored to continue to collaborate with CURE® and Takeda in this effort, and are grateful that $1 million has been raised to fund critical research spearheaded by the MMRF to accelerate treatments for myeloma patients. We see a world where every person has precisely what they need to prevent or defeat multiple myeloma, where the entire community collaborates seamlessly from beginning to end with ever increasing momentum towards a cure” said Paul Giusti, MMRF President and CEO.

Four patients with multiple myeloma will join the Grand Canyon Moving Mountains team:

  • Catherine Sloane of Brooklyn, New York, is celebrating her good health and well-being after receiving a stem cell transplant and kyphoplasty. She wants to raise awareness and contribute towards the progress in research.
  • Steve Nechero of Benbrook, Texas, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013. After losing both of his parents to cancer, Steve hopes to raise necessary funds to spur research that may help other patients with multiple myeloma like him.
  • Kathleen Kauffman of Birmingham, Alabama, worked as a healthcare lawyer assisting academic medical centers and providers through a maze of healthcare regulations. After being diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013, her role switched from legal adviser to patient. Kathleen is excited to be taking on this wonderful challenge and will celebrate her 55th birthday during the climb.
  • Stan Fisher of Newport Beach, California, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma eight years ago. Since his diagnosis, Stan has participated in several marathons to raise awareness and funds in the fight against multiple myeloma. Stan will be joined by his biggest supporter and wife, Gina, during the trek.

“We are delighted that our continued joint efforts with the MMRF and Takeda are taking us back to the Grand Canyon to raise awareness for multiple myeloma,” said Michael J. Hennessy Jr., president of Michael J. Hennessy Associates Inc., the parent company of CURE Media Group. “It’s inspiring to see patients and family members working hand-in-hand to successfully complete the difficult journey.”

Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Trail is one of the most challenging and iconic hikes in the United States. With more than 3,200 feet of elevation change from the highest point to the lowest point, the hikers will embark on a one-day journey that takes them down to Indian Garden and then back up to the rim – a trip totaling around seven to nine hours from start to finish.

“As a member of Takeda Oncology’s Patient Advocacy team, I consider myself extremely fortunate in that I get to spend time with patients, caregivers and organizations like the MMRF as part of my daily work,” said Scott Campbell, Associate Director, U.S. Patient Advocacy, Takeda Oncology. “Takeda believes strongly in collaborating with patients so that we can bring their perspectives into our patient-focused business decisions – from drug discovery to commercialization. Through Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma, I’ll have the opportunity to experience a new kind of teamwork with patients and healthcare professionals as we support one another in our trek of the Grand Canyon.”

To learn more about Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma and to donate to multiple myeloma research, please visit http://www.movingmountainsformultiplemyeloma.comGo to https://www.movingmountainsformultiplemyeloma.com.

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 Grand Canyon 2017 climb, Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma treks planned for 2017 include a trip to Mount Fuji in July. 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.comGo to 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 per 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.orgGo to 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, N.J.-based Michael J. Hennessy Associates, Inc., family of businesses, which includes the acclaimed OncLive® (http://www.onclive.comGo to http://www.onclive.com) platform of resources for the practicing oncologist. For more information, visit http://www.curetoday.comGo to http://www.curetoday.com or https://www.mjhlifesciences.com/Go to https://www.mjhlifesciences.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/newsroom.

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.

Media Contacts:

CURE Media Group

Theresa Burek


[email protected]

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Anne Quinn Young, MPH

Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications


[email protected]


Amy Atwood


[email protected]

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