NORWALK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today an exciting and generous matching gift of $1 million by Dr. Bruce and Kathy Elsey, longtime supporters of the MMRF and devoted philanthropists, to establish the Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer. The Elseys have pledged the gift to establish Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer by agreeing to match the contributions of the MMRF community before the end of 2014 for up to $1 million.
Since 2009, the Elseys and their company Precious Cat have contributed the transformative support of nearly $7 million to the MMRF’s mission to drive advancements in cancer treatment and accelerate a cure. Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer will urgently enable meaningful scientific and diagnostic advances to fuel critical new therapies and results for patients.
"Our family has cancer. We feel blessed that our family, that has multiple myeloma, can support Kathy Giusti's much larger family that also has multiple myeloma. Kathy Giusti's family is the MMRF and they are working tirelessly to quickly find a cure. We believe that a cure will come as a result of prayer and action. Let us not love in word but in action." Dr. Bruce Elsey.
Dr. Bruce and Kathy have combined corporate success with a philanthropic cause: a commitment to cure cancer. Drawing on a unique business model, the Colorado couple sought to create an innovative way to share their success with the MMRF and myeloma patients everywhere. The answer came in the creation of a collaborative business model that supports the MMRF by Precious Cat directing a portion of their customers’ purchases towards curing cancer.
Through their generous contributions and this new creative model, the Elsey family and Precious Cat have provided nearly $7 million in support to the MMRF. Their partnership has supported the advancement of numerous new drugs into MMRC clinical trials and fueled the Precision Medicine Program featuring the CoMMpass Study, MMRF Researcher Gateway and MMRF CoMMunity Gateway. By creating the newly established Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer, the MMRF is honoring the Elseys’ long-standing and impactful commitment focused on urgently discovering and advancing new drugs to improve the lives of cancer patients and obtain cures.
The MMRF with support from Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer will continue to create and fortify models to empower patients to play an active role in their own course of care. In addition to driving drug discoveries and clinical studies of new therapies, the MMRF provides education for patients and caregivers alike to understand the disease and know options of treatment.
Precious Cat’s unique business model the Elseys hope to inspire other individuals and companies to initiate similar programs. By utilizing this approach, the Elseys and Precious Cat not only generate much-needed funding, but help to educate the public about the vital mission of the MMRF—to drive research and drug breakthroughs in myeloma faster, to promote much-needed collaboration between industry and academia, and to empower patients in helping reach a cure.
As the Elseys demonstrate, opportunities abound for other entrepreneurs to combine their passion and business acumen to help fund a vital cause like cancer research, and ultimately find a cure, through the MMRF. Through the support of thousands of donors inspired by Dr. Bruce and Kathy Elsey’s story, as well as their own family members and friends, the MMRF has helped spearhead 47 trials of 24 different drugs, sequenced the genome and supported the attainment of 6 FDA-approved drugs that in some cases have more than doubled the lifespan of patients.
“Kathy and Bruce’s visionary leadership and inspirational support of the MMRF’s scientific and patient programs have enabled advances that would otherwise not be possible,” said Walter M. Capone, President and Chief Executive Officer of the MMRF. “In addition, they have inspired further support through generous contributions from thousands of other donors. The establishment of Dr. Elsey’s Fund to Cure Cancer will allow us to drive closer than ever towards a cure.”
About Multiple Myeloma Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 24,050 adults (13,500 men and 10,550 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2014 and an estimated 11,090 people are predicted to die from the disease. The five-year survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 43%, versus 28% in 1998.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world’s number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised $250 million since its inception and directs nearly 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 11 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit: www.themmrf.org.