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PRESS RELEASE: Multiple myeloma cancer patients gather March 24 for high-level education program



Multiple myeloma cancer patients gather March 24 for high-level education program

AzMN and MMRF hold first joint ‘Patient Summit’, featuring scientists from TGen and other national research organizations


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Feb. 26, 2018 — Pat England woke up in the middle of the night during a snowstorm, with chest pains and gasping for air. Something was wrong, and after months of tests she eventually was diagnosed in April 2010 with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.


Eight years later, the retired high school and college business teacher and Gila County courts instructor from Globe, Ariz., will speak at the first Patient Summit sponsored by the Arizona Myeloma Network (AzMN) and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 24 at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, 7700 E. McCormick Parkway, in Scottsdale.


“The more you can learn about this disease, the better. Knowledge is power, and the more you know the better you can make informed decisions,” said England, who will be joined at the free educational forum by scientists and physicians from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), TGen’s affiliate City of Hope, Mayo Clinic, Levine Cancer Institute, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.


Researchers will discuss treatment options for all stages of the disease, clinical trials, and management of symptoms and side effects during the daylong summit, which includes free breakfast and free lunch. To register, contact Beth Ann Karlehag at or visit


“When my husband was diagnosed with multiple myeloma 26 years ago, we were devastated and felt so alone. We had no idea of how to battle this cancer and decided to try and learn all we could about treatment,” said Barbara Kavanagh, President and CEO of AzMN. “We started the Arizona Myeloma Network to share this knowledge. We can help to improve the quality of life for both patients and their family of caregivers.”


The Patient Summit is part of AzMN’s Cancer Caregivers Education Program, designed to educate cancer caregivers for their wellbeing, and improved patient outcomes. The first person to fulfill patient needs often is a caregiver in the home. But often those caregivers are not prepared for such a sudden and crucial role.


Multiple myeloma — a cancer of the plasma cells — is one of the most common blood cancers. This year, nearly 31,000 Americans will be diagnosed with this disease, and nearly 13,000 will succumb to it. But survival rates are improving.


“What gives me hope are all the new treatments, including targeted therapeutics and immunotherapies,” said England, whose cancer remains in a “smoldering” stage. She is periodically tested to monitor her disease.


“I struggled at first,” she said. “But I learned that I have to do things that I enjoy. Every day becomes special, because you don’t know what might come next.”


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About Arizona Myeloma Network (AzMN)

Founded by Barbara Kavanagh in 2004, AzMN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit FIN 32-0169742 and its mission is to promote education, awareness and advocacy for the improved treatment and quality of life for Multiple Myeloma and other cancer patients, all cancer caregivers, and their families. AzMN organizes quarterly cancer caregiver and patient education conferences every year with the help of public donations and corporate sponsorships. “Lunchtime talks” are designed for the workplace and other community organizations.  The Spring Cancer Caregivers Conference will be on Saturday, April 28, 2018.  A faculty of cancer and healthcare professionals will share information and resources to guide attendees on “How to Help a Loved One Deal with Side Effects.” For more information on free cancer education programs visit or or email Contact Barbara Kavanagh, President/CEO; 20280 N 59th Ave, Suite 115 #448, Glendale, AZ 85308-6850; Phone 623-466-6246; Email


Media Contact:
Barbara Kavanagh, M.S.W.
Founder & CEO, Arizona Myeloma Network


About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The mission of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is to find a cure for multiple myeloma by relentlessly pursuing innovation that accelerates the development of next-generation treatments to extend the lives of patients. Founded in 1998 by Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient, and her twin sister Karen Andrews as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, the MMRF is a world-recognized leader in cancer research. Together with its partners, the MMRF has created the only end-to-end solution in precision medicine and the single largest genomic dataset in all cancers. The MMRF continues to disrupt the industry today, as a pioneer and leader at the helm of new research efforts. Since its inception, the organization has raised over $400 million and directs nearly 90% of the total funds to research and related programs. To learn more, visit


About TGen

Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, diabetes, and infectious diseases, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and cancer and diabetes treatment center: This precision medicine affiliation enables both institutes to complement each other in research and patient care, with City of Hope providing a significant clinical setting to advance scientific discoveries made by TGen. For more information, visit: Follow TGen on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @TGen.


Media Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer