Lupe Duarte
Lupe Duarte

Progress is Power
Thursday, April 13
In February 2009, I was asked to become the Multiple Myeloma Project Manager (MMPM) at City of Hope and took a quick trip back east to Norwalk, Conn. for my first Multiple Myeloma Project Manager Summit. I met an amazing team from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and an amazing group of fellow MMPM’s from across the country. At that time, we were a much smaller group than we are today. This defines the progress that has occurred just over the last eight years. Much progress has been made to advance multiple myeloma research across the country and all for the benefit of our patients nationwide. 
I had previously worked with other types of cancer since beginning in this field back in 1996 but I became very intrigued by multiple myeloma. I learned everything that I could about the disease. This allowed me to become very involved with our clinical trials at City of Hope and with our multiple myeloma program. Our goal was to build the multiple myeloma program at our institution and we succeeded with the help of the MMRF. 
When I first became an MMPM, I remember there being only a few clinical trials that we were working on. I remember having only one or two MMRF trials here at my institution. It’s exciting to see the many trials available now to our patients. This allows them a choice. This allows for them to know that there isn’t just one clinical trial out there for them. Instead, there are many. Through the years, we have worked on the trials that have led to approval of certain treatments for multiple myeloma and this makes me super proud to be in this field and to have this collaboration with the MMRF. My hope, and I’m sure the hope of many, is always to find a cure, and I believe we are all headed in the right direction.
I am extremely excited to step outside my research role and join the patients that we have worked so hard to support! I find it honorable knowing that as a patient, they are committing to such a strenuous life experience. And that makes me excited to not only participate in this life changing hike, but it makes me so excited to raise funds for such an amazing team at the MMRF, so that we can collectively continue our search for this cure for each patient participating in any of the MM4MM hikes! It is my honor to join this team of amazing patients, researchers and caregivers from across the country and I can’t wait to meet them all in person!
I have taken my role as a MMPM very seriously and it has helped me to understand the importance of collaboration across centers, to speed up not only finding new treatments for multiple myeloma, but finding those that give patients a choice! We are strong as one, but we are STRONGER TOGETHER!
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