From our first guest blogger,

CEO Steve Roach

 

Hello and welcome to our first blog.

We hope this part of our website will allow us to be interactive, informative, helpful and maybe even humorous and/or controversial from time to time. We will have regular guest bloggers every few weeks and a multitude of topics to discuss and hope you enjoy and get involved.

We also hope you like the updated website, we have tried to make it more accessible and hopefully even more of a resource for our community than it may have been in the past.

We will keep adding things and updating things as we go along to make the website the number one resource for you all. This is one of many changes happening at Myeloma Australia as we grow and expand, offer more services and hopefully help more people in our community.

Expanding services have seen us add nurse hours in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and now have nurses based in Western Australia. We have also commenced services in Northern Territory and Tasmania in the last few months. Our plan is to have more nurses in NSW, Tasmania and Queensland soon to work with the myeloma communities there.

Myeloma Australia is the only myeloma specific organisation in Australia and we are also the only one delivering all our services with myeloma nurses. We are very proud and privileged to provide the myeloma community access to our expert nurses and look forward to having more of them out there.

We have new support groups popping up everywhere, so go to our support group page and /or calendar to see the nearest to you. If you can’t find one locally and would like to get one going or find out when we will be in your area, let us know at nurses@myeloma.org.au. Our nurses work with the support groups to provide information, support, camaraderie, fellowship and assist people with myeloma and their families and carers through their journey.

And speaking of fellowship and camaraderie, we are also trying to bring our community together in other ways! It is always great to get together socially, especially if it benefits our myeloma community. Whilst head office is in Victoria and we have several events there bringing people together including “Masters of Rock” with music, “Business of Winning” with sport and the MyMtEliza family fun day as well as other events like trivia nights, art shows, picnics, barbeques, fun runs and film nights, our “social” man about town (or about the country) Matt Maudlin is looking to have at least one major event in each state in 2018 to bring the community together. Matt will be in touch with the folks in each state through our many channels but if you have an idea to get together, fundraise or generally be social contact Matt on matt.maudlin@myeloma.org.au.

Now changing direction a little, did you know that 2018 is the twentieth birthday of Myeloma Australia! That makes us one of the oldest myeloma organisations in the world. We were started at a meeting at the Cancer Council in Victoria and commenced with a support group in Kew, which is still going. Even more importantly some of the patients and carers involved then are still a large part of our organisation and hopefully will be for many years to come. When Victoria was joined by groups from NSW and SA we were starting to grow and when we moved from totally volunteer based to have staff around ten years ago things began to change even more. From sharing a desk at the cancer council to a tiny office in Kew, to a slightly larger but still small office in Kew, to our first office in Richmond to our current office in Richmond and with people on the ground in four states and services in six states and territories and the national telephone support line we have come a long way. We have gone from one nurse to eight nurses and we are looking for more.

We have our Medical and Scientific Advisory Group, (MSAG) made up of leading myeloma experts both doctors and scientists. This group work hard to advance myeloma treatment and research and ensure Australian patients are receiving best available care.

We have done a lot in twenty years and still only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we hope to do for the myeloma community in Australia. In 2018 we will be having some events to celebrate our twenty years and to recognise the many volunteers who have done so much work over the two decades. Keep an eye on the website, The Myeloma Muster, The MyeNews and our Facebook page for updates on what is happening.

That’s enough from me for now! I hope the rest of 2017 is good to you and watch out for our next guest blogger in a couple of weeks.

Love and Care.

Steve R.