In February, we donated the funds raised during our casual Fridays to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. We raised $170, and the company matched it for a donation of $340. The donation was made honoring one of our coworkers who is currently battling the illness.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer that starts in the plasma of the white blood cells. White blood cells are found in bone marrow and in other tissues and organs and that produce antibodies. Consequently, the disease impacts the immune system, and can increase the likelihood of infection. However, it can affect body in many other ways too.
Myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications such as blockage in kidney tubules and kidney failure in some patients.
Bone marrow can stop growing or it will behave abnormally. The disease can lead to fatigue and anemia too. Myeloma can also upset the balance of minerals in the body.
Additionally, myeloma cells produce a harmful substance that can damage bones and elevate calcium levels in the blood. When multiple tumors form in the bones myeloma becomes multiple myeloma. This can lead to bone pain, especially in the spine and chest, weakness or numbness in the legs, nausea, and mental confusion.
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation seeks a cure for multiple myeloma and their work includes many innovative treatments and intensive, ongoing research. They offer “precision medicine” targeting specific genetic markers. They have accumulated the largest genomic dataset of all cancers as they sequenced the entire myeloma genome.
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation has an impressive success record. Their treatments have tripled patient life expectancy and patient five year survival rate by 40 percent.
If you would like to donate to this worthwhile cause, you can do so here. They’re a registered non-profit and all donations are tax deductible. They offer various ways you can help including planned giving, vehicle donation, fundraising events, employer matched donations, and one-time financial contributions.
Almost 90 percent of funds raised go directly to research and programs searching for a cure and assisting those battling the disease find a better quality of life. Every donation brings the organization one step closer to snuffing out the disease once and for all.