April 19, 2009

MMRF Founder, CEO Honored with AACR Centennial Medal, Kathy Giusti, CEO

What an incredible morning! It was an unbelievable honor to be recognized with the AACR Centennial Award for our efforts to advance the delivery of new treatments and, eventually, a cure for multiple myeloma. I was so proud to accept the award from AACR President Dr. Raymond DuBois and from AACR CEO Dr. Margaret Foti, who I deeply admire and consider a dear friend, and on behalf of the AACR, for all of their amazing work. I am truly humbled to follow in the footsteps of last year’s recipient Lance Armstrong, one of cancer’s greatest heroes, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow honorees, the founders of Stand Up to Cancer and Nick Valvano of the V Foundation.

When I started the MMRF and, later, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), I knew we had a lot of work ahead of us and many challenges that would slow our progress. But from the start, I had amazing support. This award is a truly testament to the willingness of everyone to work together to break down barriers slowing multiple myeloma research and to do whatever it takes to bring patients the treatments they urgently need.

I am so thankful for the MMRF team’s phenomenal dedication and our extraordinary donors, who inspire us with their generosity and who are behind us every step of the way. I would like to thank Drs. Ken Anderson, Bill Dalton, Rafael Fonseca, and Keith Stewart, who were instrumental in helping to create the MMRC, and the many other talented researchers who share our commitment to innovation, speed, and results. Thanks, too, to Celgene and Millennium for their extraordinary commitment to develop new and better treatments. Finally, I am grateful to the many wonderful clinicians and nurses, whose compassionate care has made a world of difference for myeloma patients, and especially to the patients themselves, who advance research by participating in clinical trials and donating tissue to our Tissue Bank, and who inspire us to work harder, smarter, and faster.

Together, we have come so far.  The AACR Centennial Award not only validates our work but help continue to bring awareness to the disease so that we can continue our work to bring patients the next generation of treatments and combination therapies.