Miles for Myeloma – an annual event led by physicians, researchers, myeloma patients, caregivers and supporters - hosted its 16th annual event in October. This year’s ride was canceled due to COVID-19, but that didn’t slow anyone down.
Miles for Myeloma is a bike ride and patient education symposium designed to raise awareness for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that is one of the areas of focus of the IU Grand Challenge Precision Health Initiative. This year, supporters were encouraged to donate dollars and distance. Anyone was able to log miles through an initiative called the Myeloma Million, which is working to raise one million for myeloma by combining dollars, donors and miles. Patients and supporters logged their miles anywhere and at any time, and can continue to do so through the end of the year.
In 2020, participants have raised nearly $270,000 for research and patient care
“Despite the pandemic, our plan was to engage as many people as possible with an audacious goal like the ‘Myeloma Million,’” said Indiana University Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center Associate Director of Development Ashleigh Wahl. “Coupled with incredible fundraising success by over 800 donors, our supporters have logged nearly 100,000 miles. We’re well on our way to the ‘Myeloma Half-Million’ by the end of the year.”
Miles for Myeloma has raised more than 6.3 million since 2006. Thanks to donor support, research at the IU School of Medicine is focused on better understanding the disease and conducting clinical trials to explore new treatment options. Miles for Myeloma also supports enhanced patient care at IU Health.
Rafat Abonour, MD, is the leader of the IU Precision Health Initiative multiple myeloma disease research team at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, and also served as the host for the 2020 Miles for Myeloma virtual event. Unable to gather in-person, he and the research and patient care team spoke to patients in a series of videos called Myeloma MEDTalks.
“We don’t treat multiple myeloma at Indiana University,” said Abonour, who is also a physician-scientist at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We treat patients with multiple myeloma here.”
Learn more about the event here.