Multiple Myeloma Patients and Supporters to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro to Highlight Need to Accelerate Cancer Research


On January 16, a 15-person team of multiple myeloma patients, doctors, family members and supporters will climb the famed Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro.

On January 16, a 15-person team of multiple myeloma patients, doctors, family members and supporters will climb the famed Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, to raise awareness and funds for critical myeloma research. The epic effort, dubbed Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma, will be the first time that a group has taken on such a feat to support the MMRF. Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma is a collaboration between CURE Media Group, Takeda Oncology and the MMRF. All proceeds benefit the MMRF.

"We are honored to collaborate with CURE and Takeda in this effort and are so grateful to the patients and supporters whose 19,341 foot climb epitomizes the path many with myeloma face each day, and will build awareness along with desperately-needed funding for multiple myeloma research,” said Walter Capone, MMRF CEO. “Further, we are thrilled to see that four of the team members are myeloma patients: living proof that the work we are all doing together is extending and improving the lives of myeloma patients.”

Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of the blood that carries only a 46.6 percent chance of survival beyond five years, according to the National Cancer Institute. While great progress has been made in recent years to develop novel treatments, continued research funding is needed to get to the ultimate goal: a cure. Every dollar raised by the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma team will go to the MMRF efforts to accelerate research for next generation treatments. The MMRF brings treatments to multiple myeloma patients 60 percent faster than the average through collaboration with best-in-class partners around the world.

“This climb is intended to raise research funds, build global awareness, inspire hope and provide a graphic demonstration that multiple myeloma is not insurmountable,” said Mike Hennessy Jr., president of Intellisphere Oncology and Healthcare Specialty Group, including CURE magazine. “We are honored to collaborate with the MMRF and Takeda to help take this inspirational climb to the next level.” As Africa’s highest peak, Uhuru Peak stands at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) atop Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world, and represents a physically and mentally challenging test of endurance and skill. During the planned 11-day expedition, the team will climb through five different ecosystems, enduring the effects of high elevation, altitude sickness, sub-zero temperatures and occasional high winds. Four multiple myeloma survivors will join the team:

  • Chuck Wakefield of Dallas, Texas, lives by the mantra that “life is always a challenge.” A competitive athlete for most of his life, Chuck made exercise a large part of his treatment plan after he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. That plan included a four-day, 400-mile bike ride through the Texas hill country. Chuck said he’s ready to “climb the mountain for every patient who is experiencing multiple-myeloma treatment.”
  • Jeff Goad of Chicago, Ill., has been in maintenance remission since August 2010, and has already raised money for the MMRF by running in two Chicago Marathons and the New York Marathon, among many other races. Last summer, Jeff and his wife completed a rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon. Jeff’s sights first turned to Mount Kilimanjaro when he wrote a report on the mountain in fourth grade. Now, he’s looking forward to taking his wife with him to the summit.
  • Like Jeff, Bob Dickey of Shell Beach, Calif., has waited his whole life to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. A year after a stem cell transplant to treat his multiple myeloma, Bob climbed Mount Whitney to raise funds for the MMRF. “I want to prove to myself that the best is yet to come,” Bob said. But, he added, supporting the organization that has helped keep him alive was a “no-brainer.”
  • “If someone had told me that I was going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro when I was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma, I would probably have laughed,” said Stan Wagner of Brooklyn, NY. “Cancer has pushed me to do things I had never thought of doing. I cannot wait for that morning when we are at the summit as the sun rises.”

“Despite the tremendous progress made by the oncology community in our fight against cancer, we need to do more, and we know it will take a collective effort to achieve our aspiration to cure cancer,” said Ryan Cohlhepp, vice president of U.S. Marketing at Takeda and a climber on the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma team. “I am honored to be a part of the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma team, and to collaborate on this important effort with these two organizations who share our vision.”

To learn more about Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma and the climbers and to donate, please visit The story of the climb and climbers will be captured in a documentary video, and live updates from the climb will be available on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For more information about multiple myeloma and other cancers, please visit CURE Media Group’s online resource,, and subscribe to receive updates. The site features live meetings, a resource guide for the newly diagnosed and the Extraordinary Healer™ national nursing award. CURE Media Group combines science and humanity to make cancer understandable.

About Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma

Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma is an MMRF program supported by CURE Media Group and Takeda Oncology. The MMRF is recruiting interested participants to join other 2016 adventure climbs, including Conquer the Canyon® - Grand Canyon, May 12-16, and Machu Picchu, August 9-14. Funds raised by the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma endeavors will go directly to research, supporting the MMRF mission. For more information, visit

About CURE Media Group

CURE Media Group’s flagship product, CURE magazine, is the indispensable guide to every stage of the cancer experience. With nearly one million readers, CURE is the largest consumer publication in the United States focused entirely on cancer, with broad distribution to cancer patients, cancer centers and advocacy groups. CURE Media Group’s offerings also include its online resource,; live meetings; a resource guide for the newly diagnosed; and the Extraordinary Healer™ national nursing award. It also offers CURE Connections, a video platform designed specifically for patients with cancer, featuring information, stories and advice about the cancer journey at, where visitors can subscribe to receive updates. CURE Media Group combines science and humanity to make cancer understandable. CURE Media Group is part of the Plainsboro, N.J.-based Michael J. Hennessy Associates, Inc. (MJH) family of businesses, which includes the acclaimed OncLive® ( platform of resources for the practicing oncologist. For more information, visit or

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)

The 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 more than $300 million since its inception and directs nearly 90 percent of its total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 11 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency.

About Takeda Oncology

Takeda Oncology is the brand for the global oncology business unit of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. We aspire to cure cancer by delivering novel medicines to meet the unique and urgent needs of people living with cancer, their loved ones and the health care providers who support them around the world. Additional information about Takeda Oncology is available at


Media Contacts

For CURE Media Group: Becky Taylor, 609-240-6886, For Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation: Sharon L. Saias, 203-652-0211, For Takeda Oncology: Amy Atwood, 617-444-2147,

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