Lauren Charamut

Lauren Charamut
Monday, April 15
In 2018, I took on the role of Endurance Events Manager at The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). While the title was new, what was not was the role I would be playing. Since 2014, I have played a role as a caregiver to my mom who is a multiple myeloma patient. Over the years, I have organized meals, took over cleaning the house and supported her any way that I could. I have fundraised through multiple endurance events with the MMRF, I have forced myself to read the scary facts and became informed on the type of cancer she has. I hosted events to support her in a positive light and kept looking for the next big thing to continue to make a difference. 

I was excited to bring my first-hand knowledge of the disease, fundraising, training and being a teammate to The MMRF. I am thrilled to work with patients, caregivers and doctors each day to help them achieve their fundraising goals. I get excited to see each team member hit their fundraising goal, and I truly enjoy supporting teams as they plan events, host fundraisers and spread awareness in their communities. 

Last year, my mom was able to join me on one of my first events. Together, with a team of 17 others we summited Mt. Washington. It was an invaluable lesson to me and truly a metaphor for what the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program is all about. Whatever your diagnosis, whatever your challenges may be, if you set yourself a personal goal, big or small, you are proving to yourself that a cancer diagnosis does not need to stop you.

The Silver Lining
Tuesday, May 01
On May 2, I set out for my second moving mountains for multiple myeloma hike, and man, do I feel blessed. I was accepted on the Mt. Fuji Moving Mountains team in January 2017 where I had my first experience as a team member. My mom is a myeloma patient and so, this hike for me was very personal. I quickly felt connected to the team and was surprised to hear how openly everyone shared their stories with one another. Before my involvement with the MMRF, my mom’s diagnosis and treatment were not a big topic of discussion; in fact, it was something we avoided talking about all together. So, being in a room full of patients like my mom and caregivers like myself made me realize that it is okay to talk about multiple myeloma.

Now, a year later I am an Endurance Events Manager for the MMRF leading the Havasu Falls Trek and I know first-hand how important it is to talk about multiple myeloma. When you say yes to learning about the disease that was once a terrifying diagnosis is surrounded by hopeful progress, new treatment options and extended life expectancies. The MMRF is committed to getting the right treatment plan, and the right drug to each and every patient, right now.

My mom is fortunate to have qualified for a clinical trial that is funded by the MMRF. Talk about life changing. While it seems impossible to be able to give back to the MMRF, everything I feel it has given my family and I, I can continue the work that has inspired me to be a better daughter and caregiver. By leading this Havasu trek, bringing together five patients, a nurse and caregivers, I am showing the next wave of patients and caregivers that there is a silver lining to multiple myeloma, the silver lining is the MMRF.
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