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Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma® to Hike Through Lava Fields and Volcanoes in Iceland


A group of 14 individuals will embark on this challenge to raise awareness for multiple myeloma

As a part of a fundraising effort by Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma® (MM4MM), 14 individuals will trek through Iceland's otherworldly landscape from Aug. 7-11. MM4MM is a joint initiative between the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), CURE Media Group and GlaxoSmithKline plc. The upcoming climb includes survivors, caregivers, family members, team members from the organizing partners, and myeloma doctors.

Since the MM4MM Program began in 2016, team members have taken on 13 epic hikes and have raised $2.5 million. 100% of the funds raised go directly to the MMRF to accelerate new treatment options for multiple myeloma patients.

“As a patient founded organization, the MMRF stands together with those who are battling multiple myeloma – patients, families, physicians, researchers, and our pharmaceutical partners. This team represents a microcosm of that myeloma community and demonstrates that together, we can collaborate with ever increasing momentum towards a cure,” said Paul Giusti, CEO of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. “We are thrilled to enter the fourth year of this inspiring program and to have GSK join us in this effort to raise awareness and critical funds to continue our mission.”

The MM4MM team will include two patients living with multiple myeloma:

  • Erik Ellefsen is an 11-year multiple myeloma survivor. Ellefsen was diagnosed in 2008 and immediately began treatment. In 2019, he started his fifth maintenance treatment plan as multiple myeloma has been ever-present in his life.
  • John Klatt was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2016 after he had symptoms of a pulled muscle in his back. By when the disease was diagnosed, it was in about 80% of his bone marrow, which resulted in 10 compression fractures in his vertebrae. Klatt immediately began treatment at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, which saved his life. After multiple procedures, John is in remission and feeling well and excited for the hike through Iceland.

“We are excited to be a part of this amazing initiative,” said Michael J. Hennessy Jr., president of MJH Life Sciences, parent company of CURE Media Group. “This climb put on by Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma® raises sufficient funds toward multiple myeloma research while also inspiring patients, survivors and caregivers.”

The team will venture to Iceland and take on the beautiful landscape that includes an assortment of geological marvels such as volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, hot springs, gorges, lava beds, waterfalls, and, of course, mountains. Geothermal activity in the form of steam and green and yellow sulfur coming from the rocks on the trail, coupled with the topography, make this mountainous hike otherworldly. After seven to eight hours of rigorous hiking, the team will sleep in mountain huts situated in an incredible setting. This hike is sometimes called "Fire and Ice" because on any given day, you hike up lava fields and volcanoes and then alongside stunning glaciers.

“GSK, in partnership with the MMRF and CURE, is committed to advancing research into new and transformational treatment options to help improve the lives of people living with multiple myeloma,” said Tania Small, vice president, global medical oncology, GSK. “We are proud to be a part of the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma initiative and are inspired by all of the participants in the Iceland trek who are helping to increase awareness of this disease and the impact it has on both patients and caregivers.”

To learn more about MM4MM and to donate to multiple myeloma research, click here.

About Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma®

Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma® (MM4MM) is a collaboration between CURE Media Group and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) to raise awareness and funds for myeloma research. This year, GSK and Celgene Corporation join the effort as sponsors. In addition to Mount Washington, the program will lead a hike through Patagonia in 2019. To date, MM4MM has raised over $2.0 million for myeloma research and included 34 myeloma patients on 7 climbs. Funds raised go directly to research, supporting the MMRF mission. For more information, visit https://www.themmrf.org/events/.

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cell, is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 30,000 adults will be diagnosed this year, and 12,600 people are predicted to die from the disease.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

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 patients’ lives. Founded in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by Kathy Giusti, a patient with multiple myeloma, and her twin sister, Karen Andrews, the MMRF is a world-recognized leader in cancer research. Together with its partners, the MMRF created the only end-to-end solution in precision medicine and the single largest genomic data set in all cancers. As a pioneer and leader at the helm of new research efforts, the MMRF continues to disrupt the industry. Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $400 million and directs nearly 90% of the total funds to research and related programs. To learn more, visit https://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, as well as the dynamic website for oncology nurses, OncNursingNews.com, and its companion publication, Oncology Nursing News®. CURE Media Group is part of the Cranbury, New Jersey-based MJH Life Sciences, family of businesses, which includes the acclaimed OncLive® platform of resources for the practicing oncologist. For more information, visit http://www.curetoday.com and http://www.mjhassoc.com.

About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.

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