The Atlanta Area Multiple Myeloma Support Groups - Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

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The Atlanta Area Multiple Myeloma Support Groups

Atlanta 5K Walk/Run

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is delighted to recognize The Northside and Southside Atlanta Area Myeloma Support Groups as the MMRF Spirit of Hope Honorees at the 2017 MMRF Team for Cures: Atlanta 5K Walk/Run.

The Atlanta Area Multiple Myeloma Support Groups

Posted March 2017

The Northside Atlanta Area Myeloma Support Group was founded in 1997 with the goal to give patients and their families a network where they could learn more about this disease and gain support. The group will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. They have about 60 members who meet the first Saturday of every month from 11:00 AM-1:00PM. Group members have the opportunity to listen to guest speakers and update each other on their conditions and treatments. The group discusses new trials that many members are participating in and new information concerning research being done by MMRF, IMF, LLS and the local hospitals. The Northside group participates in 5k races held by Emory and the MMRF. Other activities include sponsored seminars and visits to local hospitals and medical centers.

Carolyn Higgins, a member of the Northside Support group, was diagnosed with smoldering myeloma in July 2007. She was told she would have MGUS for 10 years or more and could be monitored every 3 months for blood and bone marrow biopsy. Unfortunately, within 6 months, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and needed to start treatment immediately. Bouncing from doctor to doctor, it was recommended Carolyn see Dr. Sagar Lonial at Emory Winship Cancer Center. It was during her first year at Emory that Carolyn found the Northside Atlanta Area Multiple Myeloma Support Group. She attended and immediately bonded with the group as she was so happy to be with others who had the disease. Carolyn began a phase 1 trial in 2009 and continued until 2014. In January 2015, she began a second clinical trial. Carolyn is currently on maintenance and her results have been good!

“I am inspired by fellow patients who have fought this battle with me, and helped me maintain hope. Many patients have lived 15 to 26 years. They are my constant inspiration and strength” –Carolyn Higgins

The Southside Atlanta Area Myeloma Support Group was founded by Doris Morgan in 2006, with the goal to inform myeloma patients, specifically African American myeloma patients, about the disease. The group has about 63 members who meet on the fourth Saturday of every month from 10:00a.m to 12:00p.m., at Greenbriar Mall. Each year the Southside Atlanta Area Myeloma Support Group focuses on raising awareness among the general population affected by Multiple Myeloma, and among Primary Care Physicians. The group participates annually in Myeloma Awareness Month (March) and the Atlanta MMRF 5k Walk/Run and “Shop for a Cause”, in partnership with Macy’s. Additionally, group members participate in patient and family health fairs and webinars. On May 20th, 2017 the Southside group will be hosting a tribute event for Multiple Myeloma Caregivers at the Atlanta Metropolitan State College. The goal of the support group is just that, to give support in the form of encouragement and hope through personal testimonies of struggles, strengths, victories, shared information, and just sincere compassions and fellowship on a consistent basis.

In April 2004, Doris went in for a routine physical exam never expecting that this visit would have been anything but routine. Through further tests it was soon determined that she had multiple myeloma, a disease she had never heard of. After getting over the initial shock of her diagnosis, Doris immediately set on a course of becoming thoroughly educated about multiple myeloma, its impending impact and the several options available for management. In her research to be more informed about Multiple Myeloma, she talked with the MMRF after a patient in her group recommended the foundation. Doris has achieved full remission. Additionally, she had her cells harvested, and continues treatment for her neuropathy.

“The support group, by design, is based on the constant reminder that, though we may not know what the future holds, we do know who holds the future” –Doris Morgan

The MMRF works tirelessly to find a cure to extend the lives of patients, just like Doris and Carolyn, and is proud to honor the Northside and Southside Atlanta Area Myeloma Support Groups as the 2017 recipient of the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award, given at every MMRF 5K Walk/Run event to a person or team who inspires hope and shows extraordinary commitment to the MMRF. Members of the Atlanta Area Multiple Myeloma Support groups have touched the myeloma community with their strength of character, their kindness, and their embodiment of hope.