The 2nd Annual Black Myeloma Health Virtual 5K/1M Awareness event occurred on August 12th and 13th, 2023. 180 participants from across 32 states and Guam came together to spread awareness about multiple myeloma and its effects on the Black and African American communities.
The event could only have been such a success with you. We are grateful for the love and continued support from each community represented. Thank you!
Over 390 donors raised over $17,223 for the Black Myeloma Health Program and to fund research.
Because myeloma disproportionately affects Black and African American communities, spreading awareness about myeloma in these most vulnerable communities is crucial, as many will have never heard of the disease at the time of diagnosis.
Participants even stepped up to create awareness among community doctors and other healthcare professionals unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms of myeloma.
Here is what some of the participants had to say about their experience as to why they chose to be a part of the event:
Camelia: “The reason that I participated in the [Black Myeloma Health] virtual walk was to bring awareness to [multiple myeloma] and the need for early testing. No one should be blindsided by a [myeloma] diagnosis like myself and many others. This event was important to me because no matter how small my part is, it leads to bigger and better outcomes for the [myeloma] community as a whole.”
James: “This event was important to me because it gave me the opportunity to get together with others to spread the word about a cancer that took my loved one too early. If more people know about the disease, they can receive better care and maybe live longer.”
Suzette: “Having experienced cancer (liver) firsthand through my mom, I wanted to do what I could to further educate people in my community about myeloma.”
Brenda: “I am not a walker because of my knees. However, the importance of myeloma health awareness is important because I see the effects it can have on the Black community. I was motivated to lace up and walk and help spread the word. I feel so blessed that I did.”
Beverly: “I participated in the Myeloma Health Virtual Event because I feel it is very important to keep active. I am 70 years old and I feel exercise in some way keeps the Myeloma at bay. I hope the money I contributed will help with the cause in some way. Even though it was a virtual event, I still felt fired up about it and I feel we have a bond as a group. It is nice to have folks that understand the journey and we can inspire and uplift each other.”
Joshua, who participated in the event from Guam, says:
“As an individual from an underserved and underrepresented community, I was happy to participate in this Black Myeloma Health Virtual 5K event. This Healthtree chapter is working hard for equity and, ultimately, the best outcomes for ALL those who may suffer unnecessarily from myeloma. I am privileged to say that I have personally felt the love and support of the bright people at Black Myeloma Health, and I know they have my back. This event promoted meaningful movement essential for vitality and health. I was all about it!”
As for myself, Valarie, I was very excited for the participants who joined me for a walk at Herrick Lake on Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful, cool day for us to walk. Not only did it allow us to catch up with one another, but afterward, we went for ice cream and discussed the signs and symptoms of myeloma and how they could best educate their family, coworkers, and those in their communities.
We give special thanks and appreciate our sponsors, Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssen Oncology, Pfizer, and Sanofi. Without the support of our sponsors, this event would not have been possible.
There’s still time to donate: Donate to Black Myeloma Health Here
Check out more pictures from our community below!
More Black Myeloma Health Resources
about the author
Valarie Traynham has been a myeloma survivor since 2015. Wanting to be a source of support, provide patient education and encouragement to help others along their myeloma journey, she is a volunteer myeloma coach, myeloma support group leader and patient advocate. She enjoys being outdoors, reading, and trying new recipes.