Letter to the editor: Multiple myeloma support is appreciated

Multiple myeloma support is appreciated

Although it accounts for only 1-2 percent of all cancers, multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and is growing in frequency and impact among all age ranges of both genders. Over 25,000 new cases of myeloma will occur in the U.S. this year. However, there have been many advances in the development of new drugs and treatment strategies. With early detection comes early treatment, less severity, fewer side-effects, and a better quality of life as a survivor. Early detection is dependent on simple blood tests initially that include the protein panel and CBC. Confirmation comes with additional standardized tests and measurements. Any PCP can order these tests.

In recognition of March as Multiple Myeloma Awareness/Advocacy Month, this is a statement of support, promotion, and appreciation to the State of Vermont, the Town of Bennington, and the community at large. As a resident of Bennington, myeloma patient and patient advocate, founder of and Support Group facilitator for the Southern Vermont Myeloma Support Network, and a member of the International Myeloma Foundation Advocacy Action Team, I have become a public face for the purpose and educational mission of Myeloma Awareness/Advocacy. In fact, it is my personal and professional purpose and mission to advance federal, state, and local efforts to inform the public about the nature and risks of multiple myeloma and to encourage blood testing for early detection and treatment of myeloma. Accordingly, I am able to both pay back and pay forward my community for its generous assistance and support.

Both the State of Vermont (Governor's Office) and Town of Bennington (Select Board) have issued Proclamations making March Myeloma Awareness Month. Framed original copies with their respective Official Seals have been presented publicly and are available for display.

I deeply appreciate the efforts and actions of those local and State public officials and their staffs responsible for the Proclamations and their presentations, as well as Rep. Mary Morrissey for her dedicated annual facilitation of this process.

I strongly urge you to get your blood tested and not to hesitate in doing so, for your own benefit as well as that of family and friends. Encourage family members and friends to do the same. No one lives alone with this disease. It impacts many others in your life.

Please know that I, as a survivor, am able to live with good fortune, gratitude, and optimism daily because I benefit from wonderful care and support from my expert medical providers, as well as from family, caregivers, and friends.

— Jan Martin Bopp Bennington


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