Providing education and support to patients with black myeloma is essential to discover better treatments and cures for all patients, a goal the HealthTree Foundation has embraced by launching Blackmyelomahealth.org.
The website will serve as an information hub for Black patients and caregivers as well as a forum to increase awareness and access to expert myeloma resources.
“We believe that all parts of our community need to address the inequities and barriers that patients with black myeloma typically face, because it benefits all parts of our community,” said Jenny Ahlstrom, CEO of HealthTree. Foundation and myeloma patient,” and we are doing our part by investing real resources, time and dedicated people.
The creation of the website is part of the foundation’s African American initiative, I am my brother’s keeper. It will include a News about black myeloma section dedicated to keeping the community informed by covering relevant health topics that are essential to help make good treatment decisions. Additional topics such as nutrition and financial matters are also included.
The original articles and others published from the Myeloma Crowd website are designed to help each patient learn and better understand to become their own best advocate.
The African American Initiative team includes Marsha Calloway-Campbell, Director and Myeloma Caregiver, Valarie Traynham, African American Chapter Leader/African American Facebook Group Moderator and Myeloma Patient, Diahanna Vallentine, financial program for the HealthTree Foundation and Myeloma Widow, and Patient Navigator, Constance Boyd.
We also have dedicated, talented and trained myeloma coaches available to counsel patients individually. Among those willing to help are Jackie McFarlin (Hawthorne, CA), Tony Newberne (Mint Hill, NC), Andrea Ellingen (Columbus, OH), Novette Griffin, Stevonia Cunningham, Jasson Osborn (Dallas, TX), Cassandra McDonald (Euclid Heights, OH), Sonja Henry (Tampa, FL) and Kimberly Heath (Las Vegas, NV). All have a special connection to multiple myeloma and have had unique experiences that others can learn from. And no matter where they live, phones and computers are there for you to connect to any of them.
Or maybe you have the interest to join them? Contact us and we’ll find out.
It’s also important to have myeloma specialists who are black, a number that we need to see grow. Those we work with include Drs. Brandon Blue (Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida), Craig Cole (Michigan State University), Shakira Grant (University of North Carolina) and Monique Hartley-Brown (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute). We will keep you informed of their latest research and publications.
In addition to following the programs of our African American Community Chapter, we will continue to work to ensure that the website gives voice to many spoken and unspoken issues about myeloma.
Help us publicize the new website. Share it with your family, friends, churches, social organizations, sororities, fraternities, hospitals, cancer centers, support groups, social workers and, of course, post it on all your social media platforms.