With an emphasis on the ability of patients and caregivers to adapt to challenges, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is seeking to raise awareness of blood cancer during Myeloma Action Month (MAM).
This theme of this year’s campaign, observed each March, is resilience.
“The IMF sees that those in the myeloma community are resilient on a daily basis, and also recognizes that people do not need to feel resilient all the time,” the foundation said in a press release.
As part of its campaign, the IMF is expounding an art display known as “The Wall of Resistance,” first exhibited at its 13th Annual Comedy Celebration last fall. Curated and conceived by Susan Dunnett, a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, the exploration of personal resilience features photos and stories from 100 IMF-affiliated myeloma support group leaders.
In honor of Myeloma Action Month, the effort has gone digital, and now includes the global myeloma community. The IMF is encouraging patients and supporters to help heighten disease awareness by selecting an image that represents resilience, briefly explaining their selection, and posting it on social media with the hashtag #IAMRESILIENT2020. The hashtag will drive posts to the “Wall of Resilience” on the MAM website.
“Each and every member of the myeloma community and the International Myeloma Foundation make an impact,” said Susie Durie, IMF president and CEO. “That’s why in 2020 the IMF is focusing on resilience. So many myeloma patients, their family members and caregivers face each day with strength and hope to help bring us closer to a cure. It used to be that a cure for myeloma was a dream somewhere far, far in the distance. But as I look forward now, I can see it. And I hope you can, too.”
In addition to the Wall of Resilience, supporters are asked to download and personalize a letter from IMF Chairman Brian G.M. Durie, and send it to a local healthcare practitioner. Because it explains myeloma symptoms and warning signs, the letter can be used to educate providers who may not be familiar with the disease.
Supporters also are encouraged to change social media images to a MAM logo, add a Facebook frame, and take and post selfies of MAM merchandise. Other suggested advocacy activities include contributing a public service announcement to a local radio station, sending out a press release to local media outlets and other organizations, asking a local government pass an MAM proclamation, and writing an article for local newspaper publication about myeloma.
The IMF also is encouraging attendance at its Patient & Family Seminar, to be held March 13-14 in Boca Raton, Fla., and its Regional Community Workshop, slated for March 21 in Birmingham, Ala.