About Us

OUR STORY

Welcome to the Vancouver Myeloma Support Group

The Vancouver Myeloma Support Group is a volunteer, patient-led, support group whose goal is to support, listen, share, laugh and educate fellow patients and caregivers affected by myeloma, MGUS, smouldering myeloma, or plasmacytoma.  We offer a welcoming, positive, and supportive environment to everyone. 

Participating in our myeloma support group is free, and open to anyone who wishes to attend.

To join us fill out the REGISTRATION FORM (Document #1 found under Resources/printable documents), or contact us for more information.

 

The Vancouver Myeloma Support group is part of Myeloma Canada Support Group Network, and was launched by two volunteer myeloma patients in 2019 under the name of Vancouver Myeloma Network.

In 2019, monthly in-person meetings took place at Inspire Health in Vancouver, but Covid-19 prevented in-person meetings in 2020. Virtual meetings began in 2021 on the Zoom platform, and continue to take place every two months on the last Monday of January, March, May, July, September, November at 7:00 p.m.

In three short years, the Vancouver Myeloma Support Group has expanded from a handful of participants to over 50 members.

Support group meetings typically alternate between group discussions and information sessions with guest speakers.

Vancouver Myeloma Support Group Organizing Committee

In 2021, an organizing committee was established to involve group members in the planning and direction of our support group.  The organizing committee consists of the following volunteers:

    • Meeting Moderator
    • Peer Support Volunteer
    • Education/Event Liaison
    • Awareness/Information Coordinator
    • Website/Facebook Management

Vancouver Myeloma Support Website

This website has been written by current member volunteers living with myeloma to expand awareness of our support group to patients, caregivers and health professionals in our community.  Our goal is to share what we have learned during this myeloma journey and to mimic chats that might occur while receiving treatment. 

We also offer a Vancouver Myeloma Support Facebook group to connect with fellow group members, ask questions, and share information. This is a closed group for safety and privacy.

 

Myeloma Canada also offers several virtual/Facebook support groups.

 

There’s also a Facebook group specifically for solitary plasmacytoma patients.

SUPPORT

Vancouver Myeloma Support One-to-One Peer Support

In addition to our support group virtual meetings, the Vancouver Myeloma Support Group also offers local one-to-one peer support via virtual meetings, telephone, Facebook group or email with one of our myeloma member volunteers who have undergone specialized training through the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation.  This additional support is for myeloma members, especially the newly diagnosed, who may need individualized support to answer personal questions, get specific information or simply to talk to a fellow myeloma survivor. 

Please contact us if you would like to speak with one of our local peer support volunteers: 

 

Myeloma Canada One-to-One Peer Support Service

Myeloma Canada, in partnership with Wellspring, also offers peer support with volunteers who have first-hand experience as myeloma patients or as caregivers. These volunteers are your true peers. Their shared experience may help you better understand, manage, or cope with your situation, provide you with a different perspective or valuable ideas and insights. Volunteers have undergone specialized training with Wellspring. Wellspring offers programs available to Canadian, at no charge, to help cancer patients, their caregivers and family members elevate their quality of life through a strengthened mind and body. 

 

To learn more about the Wellspring Cancer Support services visit  Myeloma Canada Support or call 1-877-499-9904.

WHAT WE DO

Vancouver Myeloma Support Awareness & Advocacy

In 2019, Vancouver Myeloma Support group members attended the National Family Medicine Forum to help family physicians recognize the early signs and symptoms of myeloma and to raise awareness of Myeloma Canada’s programs and resources for myeloma patients and caregivers.  The group is always active at pursuing opportunities that will educate not only doctors but also the general public on this cancer that is often misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late.

 

In 2021, Vancouver Myeloma Support group members helped lobby the B.C. government and provincial health officer with letters and media attention for accelerated access to Covid19 vaccines for myeloma and other immune-compromised patients.  In 2021, through the hard work of local myeloma survivors, the province of British Columbia has officially declared March 1st as “Multiple Myeloma Awareness Day”. In fact, many other jurisdictions in Canada, the United States and around the world have proclaimed the month of March as “Myeloma Month”.  Through raising Canadians’ awareness for multiple myeloma, we can educate them on the early warning signs of the disease, and open the door to dialogue with the medical community and government authorities for equitable access to healthcare services, innovative therapies, and clinical research.

Education

Since knowledge is power, the Vancouver Myeloma Support group provides guest speakers to present educational sessions on a variety of important topics to help us learn about living with myeloma. Below is a list of some of our previous educational presentations:


Past Information Sessions:

Understanding myeloma & research 

    • Kuchenbauer, Hematologist, Clinician & Researcher at BC Cancer/VGH/Terry Fox Lab.

Living with myeloma

    • Thomas Nevill – Hematologist Leukemia/BMT Program of BC

Exercise for myeloma patients

    • Sara Weller, Physiotherapist, Cancer Exercise Program, Physiotherapy Clinic

Mindfulness

    • Judy Tang, Inspire Health

Covid19 & myeloma

    • Kuchenbauer, Hematologist, Clinician & Researcher at BC Cancer/VGH/Terry Fox Lab.

25 years living with myeloma

    • Warren Welling, Patient & leader of Victoria Myeloma Support Group.

Car-T treatment

    • Kevin Song, Medical Director Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of B.C. & Dr. Kevin Hay, Hematologist, Clinician/Scientist at Terry Fox Laboratory and Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of B.C. 

Vancouver Myeloma Support Fundraising

The fundraising efforts of our Vancouver myeloma patient and friend’s community have been impressive in the past three years. Each year the Vancouver Myeloma March, organized by Myeloma Canada, has exceeded its fundraising goals.

In 2019, the Vancouver Myeloma March was the most successful of the 30 community marches across the country, raising more than $61,000 for myeloma Canadian research, support, advocacy, and access to treatments.

In 2020 during the pandemic, the Vancouver Myeloma March exceeded its fundraising goal. As a direct result, over $29,000 was invested into Dr. Kuchenbauer’s APOBEC research project at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver. In 2021 the Vancouver Myeloma March once again exceeded expectations by raising $58,786 to support Canadian research, advocacy and awareness. 

In addition to the Myeloma March, members of the support group will also participate in the “Myeloma Canada Ride: Bike to Beat Myeloma” fundraiser organized by Myeloma Canada.  Funds raised through The Myeloma Canada Ride will support scientific advancements and impactful research initiatives that enable Canadians with myeloma to live longer and better lives, and to help find a cure. 

Local Fundraising Events

Please visit myeloma.ca to sign up and help raise funds and awareness.

Vancouver Myeloma Support Volunteering

The Vancouver Myeloma Support Group is run entirely by patient volunteers to help those living with myeloma lead their best lives. If you would like to get involved, there are many ways you can help.

    • Participate in the organizing committee
    • Facilitate virtual meetings
    • Become a peer support volunteer
    • Help out at the Myeloma Canada local fundraising events
    • Assist with awareness & advocacy
    • Manage the website and/or Facebook Page
    • Spread the word about our Vancouver Myeloma Support Group

Although not mandatory, any help, great or small, is always welcome and very much appreciated.  

Join our group by filling out the REGISTRATION FORM (Document #1).

Other BC Myeloma Support Groups

Myeloma Support Groups in BC and across Canada are part of a community run by myeloma patients and/or caregivers with the support of Myeloma Canada.  Please visit the Myeloma Canada website for up to date contact information for the over 30 support groups nationwide.

 

Other Canadian Myeloma Support Group websites

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