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CURE Media Group.
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Cure Media Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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MM Heroes
Celebrating Individuals Making a Difference in Multiple Myeloma

CURE® magazine is honored to present an annual evening of celebration and appreciation for the heroes that have made a difference in the lives of individuals living with multiple myeloma (MM). Our MM Heroes event, which includes a gala recognition dinner, is held during the Annual International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies®.

Each MM Hero is nominated by patients, caregivers and colleagues for their heroic contributions in the field of multiple myeloma or in the individual lives of people with multiple myeloma.

Thank you for interest in CURE magazine's Multiple Myeloma Heroes. Registration for this year's awards ceremony is now closed. Please be sure to to view highlights from this year's awards ceremony. Hope to see you at next year's gala event.

CURE Media Group, publishers of CURE magazine, is honored to be hosting the Multiple Myeloma Heroes recognition event at this year's 20th annual International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies® in Miami, FL. At this event, CURE will honor individuals who champion those affected by multiple myeloma.

Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. It is the second most common blood cancer affecting approximately 24,000 Americans each year. The five-year survival rate of people with multiple myeloma is 47%. However, many factors influence an individual\'s survival, such as age and overall health.

The MM Heroes recognition program is accepting nominations for individuals who have gone above and beyond on behalf of the multiple myeloma community through February 17, 2016. At the close of the contest, the winners and the individuals who nominated them will join CURE in Miami Beach, FL to be honored at the annual MM Heroes recognition event!

Nominate your Multiple Myeloma Hero today!

Help to promote awareness of MM by rewarding the voices and actions of those who have driven advancements and made a difference!
2 easy steps:
  1. Download the MM Heroes Nomination Form
  2. Complete the form and email or mail the form to the address provided.
But don't wait, all nominations must be received by February 17, 2016.

Rafat Abonour, MD
Rafat Abonour, MD is Professor of medicine, pathology, and laboratory medicine at Indiana University where he has worked since 1995. Dr. Abonour established and directs the multiple myeloma and plasma cell program at Indiana University and has authored or coauthored numerous peer-reviewed initial research articles, book chapters, and review articles. His worked has been published in key medical research journals including Blood, the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Medicine. Dr. Abonour has lectured nationally and internationally and received numerous awards, including the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor an Indiana governor can bestow in 2010.

Jennifer Ahlstrom
Jenny Ahlstrom is a wife, mother of 6, and a Bay Area native. She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2010 while living in Mexico, and she underwent tandem transplants and two years of maintenance therapy. Her goal is to keep her favorite job as a mom while helping to find a cure by filling the gaps in the good work already being done. She created the Myeloma Crowd website, Myeloma Crowd Radio, Myeloma Crowd TV and the Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI). She believes patients can and should be a driving force to accelerate that cure. The MCRI has now raised funds for two specific immunotherapy projects (CAR T-cells and MILs) that will benefit both high-risk and standard risk myeloma patients.

Mary Bohn
Mary Bohn, RN, OCN, is a nurse at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mary has 32 years of experience in nursing and 25 years as an Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN). She works at the cancer center clinic with multiple myeloma and stem cell transplant patients. In September 2015, Mary was the first nurse to receive the Chuck Koval Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for her service to the myeloma and greater blood cancer community. Mary is blessed with strong faith, family and work. She enjoys speaking at support groups and planning myeloma survivor symposia. Mary stresses the importance of faith, good attitude and having a sense of humor throughout the cancer journey.

Bob Dickey, Jr.
Bob Dickey was diagnosed with MM in Sept of 2011. This single father of three boys received a stem cell transplant at City of Hope on July 4, 2012. One year later, Bob climbed Mt Whitney as his first fundraiser for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. After being in remission for almost two years, Bob's MM became active enough to warrant treatment, and in January 2015, he had the opportunity to participate in a trial of the drug Ninlaro. One year later, not only has the drug been approved, but Bob's numbers are near remission levels again. Bob credits Dr. Amrita Krishnan and City of Hope for every single day he walks the earth. Bob is never at a loss for words and loves speaking to cancer support groups, newly diagnosed MM patients, potential donors, and virtually anyone else he can tell his story to. Bob's motto is, "I will make MM sorry it ever messed with me."

Jeff Goad
Jeff Goad is a 55-year-old beer sommelier living in Chicago with his wife Ramona Biliunas. Jeff was diagnosed with multiple myeloma the week before his 50th birthday. It certainly changed the tone of the party Ramona was planning for him. They quickly learned about the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and it became a trusted resource. A summer of chemotherapy, a stem cell harvest, and two stem cell transplants, put Jeff in maintenance remission by the end of summer 2011. As a marathon runner, he used marathons as a means to raise money for the MMRF as well as to recover his normal life. Ramona and Jeff hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim as a tribute to MM patients, and then he recently climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money and awareness, but most of all, he says, "I did it for all of those MM patients who can't!"

Michael S. Katz (posthumous)
Michael S. Katz was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, and a fan of opera, roller coasters, and sci-fi. He was a management consultant for more than 30 years. Mike lived with multiple myeloma for 25 years and rectal cancer for 5 years, and he was a tireless patient advocate across a broad spectrum of cancers. Mike served as a long-time board member of the International Myeloma Foundation, chair of the Patient Representatives Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, chair of the National Cancer Institute Director's Consumer Liaison Group, and also served as a patient consultant for the FDA. In 2014, he was honored with the American Society of Clinical Oncology\'s Partners in Progress Award. Mike "lived the impossible dream,live the im never giving up and showing us what courage is all about.

Stanley Wagner
Stan Wagner is a print production artist who lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, Pamela, and their two golden retrievers, Charlie and Annie. He was diagnosed with smoldering multiple myeloma in 2012 which progressed to full multiple myeloma in January of 2013. After five cycles of chemotherapy under the care of his physician at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Sundar Jagannath, Stan was in complete remission, continuing treatment and harvesting his stem cells. Stan remains in remission without a stem cell transplant, thanks, he says, to the drugs the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation worked to get approved and the unwavering support of his wife, Pam. Stan has moderated a Facebook MM support page and helped to launch a MM support group in Brooklyn: "Cancer has pushed me to do things I'd never thought of doing," including climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to bring awareness and funding to MMRF to help find a cure.

Charles (Chuck) Wakefield
Always active, Chuck Wakefield was diagnosed in December 2003 with multiple myeloma and then was treated for seven months with thalidomide, followed by a bone marrow transplant in August 2004. After being in remission for several years, Chuck's M-spike appeared again, and under the supervision of Brian Berryman, MD, at the Texas Oncology-Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas, the level continued to creep downward, and Chuck proudly reports that the level has been zero for the past four months. Chuck is a dentist and speaks to support groups and treats oral problems in many MM and other patients who have undergone bone marrow transplant, preaching the importance of perfect oral hygiene. "We need to kick MM out of this world," he proclaims, "and apply things learned to other cancers as well!"

Marlee Matlin
Academy award-winning actress and activist Marlee Matlin is our Multiple Myeloma Heroes guest speaker. Marlee Matlin received worldwide critical acclaim for her film debut in "Children of a Lesser God," for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress. At 21, she became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar and only one of four actresses to receive the honor for her film debut. In addition to the Oscar, Matlin received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama.

Since winning the Oscar and Golden Globe for "Children of a Lesser God," Marlee has starred in numerous features including "Walker," "The Player," "Hear No Evil," "It's My Party," and "What the Bleep Do We Know." She has also starred in TV films "Bridge to Silence," "Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story," "Dead Silence," "Freak City," "Where the Truth Lies," and Hallmark Hall of Fame's "Sweet Nothing in my Ear."
Marlee also starred in her own NBC series "Reasonable Doubts" opposite Mark Harmon and the Emmy Award-winning "Picket Fences." Marlee was twice nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Television Drama as well as the People\'s Choice Awards. She has been nominated for four Emmy awards for her appearances on "Seinfeld," "Picket Fences," "The Practice," and "Law and Order: SVU." Marlee starred for seven years on the award winning drama, "The West Wing," and has made numerous guest appearances including "ER," "Desperate Housewives," "CSI: New York," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Nip/Tuck," "CSI," "Glee," and "Family Guy." In 2007 Marlee joined "The L Word" for three seasons.
In 2009, Marlee published her New York Times Best Selling autobiography, "I'll Scream Later" and has authored three novels for children including "Deaf Child Crossing" and "Nobody's Perfect."
Marlee broke barriers once again when she starred on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," and in 2015, she returned to the stage after a 30-year hiatus and made her Broadway debut in the revival of the Tony Award-winning musical, "Spring Awakening."
Marlee developed "Marlee Signs," the first celebrity-driven app teaching basics of American Sign Language on mobile devices. In 2016, Marlee returned for her third appearance at the Super Bowl, signing the National Anthem alongside Grammy-winning and Platinum-selling artist, Lady Gaga.
Matlin currently stars on the Peabody Award-winning series, "Switched at Birth." Though Matlin lost her hearing when she was only 18 months old, she never let her challenges dictate her future or deter her dreams. Along with a successful Hollywood career, Matlin has dedicated herself to raising awareness for many humanitarian causes, including diversity and LGBT rights. Matlin's father, Don Matlin, was diagnosed with stage 3 multiple myeloma. Matlin showed support for her father by participating in a Stand Up to Cancer fundraising special that aired on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and several cable channels.

Marlee makes her home in the Los Angeles area with her husband, a law enforcement officer, and their four children. View our interview with Marlee >>
Ms. Matlin is appearing in conjunction with the CURE Multiple Myeloma Heroes. This does not constitute or imply endorsement of any products or services.

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