Eighth Annual Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Race for Research: Tri-State 5K Walk/Run Raises Over $335,000 for Cancer Research

NY and CT Firefighters highlight of 5K to raise funds to accelerate new treatments for fatal blood cancer

Norwalk, CT — June 15, 2011

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today that its 8th annual MMRF Race for Research: Tri-State 5K Walk/Run, held June 12, 2011, at New Canaan High School in New Canaan, CT, was attended by over 1,500 participants and raised over $335,000 to support the MMRF’s groundbreaking work to accelerate the development of next-generation treatments for patients with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. Donations continue to arrive and can still be made at the race website: www.themmrf.org/tristate5k.

“We are so grateful for the incredible support this event has received from our local community and from myeloma patients, their family members and their friends in the tri-state area,” said Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient and New Canaan resident who is the Founder and CEO of the MMRF. “Proceeds from events like these enable the MMRF to continue to rapidly advance important new treatment options for patients and, eventually, a cure.”

Randy Wiebicke, a former firefighter who recently lost his battle with multiple myeloma, was honored with the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award. Randy’s wife Madeline Wiebicke, accepted the award on her husband’s behalf. Randy likely developed myeloma as a result of his service at Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A 2009 study found an increase in risk of developing multiple myeloma among first responders who were at Ground Zero on and following 9/11. Firemen from Randy’s Firehouse in New York were joined at the MMRF Race for Research: Tri-State 5K Walk/Run by the local New Canaan and Darien Fire Departments in support of all firefighters combating this deadly blood cancer.

"Randy could not have been more deserving of the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award,” said Wiebicke. “He never gave up hope that a cure could be found and he was proud to fundraise for the MMRF in order to help advance the development of next-generation myeloma treatments. I am honored to accept this award on his behalf.”

Ann Curry, Journalist – NBC Today Co-Anchor, and Bob Costas, Broadcaster – NBC Sports and MLB Network, have served as MMRF National Honorary Race for Research Chairs since 2004. Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company serves as the Presenting National Sponsor of the MMRF Race for Research Program and Celgene Corporation is a National Sponsor. Additional local sponsors included: M Milestones, New Balance New Canaan, New Canaan YMCA, Rangeley Capital, Robeks Stamford, WWE, and Yumnuts Naturals.

In 2010 alone, $1.8 million was raised through the Race for Research program and more than $2 million is expected to be raised in 2011 through the nine MMRF Race for Research 5K Walk/Runs nationwide. Through funds raised at events like the Race for Research program, the MMRF has become a leader in breaking down barriers slowing medical research and in fast-tracking the development of new cancer treatments. The four treatments the MMRF helped bring to market are now standard therapies for multiple myeloma patients and are being explored as treatments for more than 30 other cancers. Today, the MMRF is supporting a pipeline of promising compounds that represent the next generation of treatments.

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 38 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2010, more than 20,000 adults in the United States were estimated to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and approximately 11,000 people died from the disease.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $170 million since its inception to fund nearly 120 laboratories worldwide, including 70 new compounds and approaches in clinical trials and pre-clinical studies and has facilitated 31 clinical trials through its affiliate organization, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). As exceptional stewards of its donor’s investments, the MMRF consistently surpasses its peers in fiscal responsibility. For more information about the MMRF, please visit www.themmrf.org.

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
Michelle Cole