Rare Disease Report

Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma Makes Its Way to Mt. Fuji

JULY 13, 2017
Mathew Shanley
Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma, a collaboration between the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), CURE Media Group and Takeda, is taking its team to Mount Fuji.
As part of an initiative to raise awareness for multiple myeloma and fundraising for critical myeloma research, a 20-person team, featuring 6 patients with the rare disease, will travel to Japan to scale the mountain on July 19th.
This will be the team’s 6th conquest. Previously, the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma participants have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (twice), the Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Trail (twice) and Machu Picchu’s Inca Trail. In doing so, the group has raised more than $1 million.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer formed by plasma cells, which are defined as malignant white blood cells. Typically, plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and assist in fighting infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs, making them critical to the functionality of the immune system.
Common symptoms are similar to that in anemia, including bone pain and fatigue. More than 26,000 new cases in the U.S. are diagnosed annually, with 114,000 new cases diagnosed globally each year.
“We are inspired by this team and grateful to Takeda and CURE for their continued support of the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program,” said MMRF CEO and President, Paul Giusti in a press release. “Funds raised by programs like these help the MMRF continue to accelerate precision medicine-based therapies which identify the best treatment for every patient.”
Mount Fuji stands at 12,289 feet in elevation, and is the highest mountain in Japan. The 6 multiple myeloma patients participating in the climb include:
  • Deana Dietzler; Cranberry, PA
  • Jeff Monsein; Durham, NC
  • Leslie Perron; Princeton, TX
  • Patti Bivona; Boulder, CO
  • Steve Albano; Menlo Park, CA
  • Ryan Anthony; Sunnyvale, TX
Each of the 6 has been living with and battling multiple myeloma for at least 4 years, and each has the opportunity to increase both awareness and funds with their participation in this new endeavor.
“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.”
For more information, visit http://www.movingmountainsformultiplemyeloma.com.
For more information on other upcoming advocacy events, follow Rare Disease Report on Facebook and Twitter.

The documentary from the 5th Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma climb (Kilamanjaro) can be seen below:

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