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Could almost a billion dollars cure multiple myeloma?

Posted on January 13 2016 by Pat Killingsworth | 2,510 views

How much money would it take to cure multiple myeloma? 50 million? 100 million? With some off-the-charts luck, we’ll know in just over an hour. For the first time ever, I’m playing Powerball. The one time payout on the 1.5 billion dollar jackpot: 930 million dollars.

powerballSince there isn’t any tax on donated money, our plan is to donate 850 million to myeloma research foundations, 50 million to help spay and neuter organizations; selfishly keeping 30 million dollars (22 million dollars after taxes) for ourselves.

With such altruistic motives, how can a lottery virgin lose?

Kidding aside, I’m surprised we don’t hear more about large impact donations like these in media reports. After all, how much money does someone need? So funny. “What will you do if you win?” “Take a trip, buy a house for mom…” This is almost a billion dollars with a great big “B,” people. You could buy a small country with that.

All of this begs the question: Is myeloma and other cancer research being slowed by lack of funding? I’m sure it has something to do with it. But would unlimited resources solve myeloma’s undaunted ability to develop drug resistance?

Wouldn’t you love to find out?

Wish us luck!

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat

12 Comments For This Post

  1. kate farrell Says:

    Big shout out to President Obama for including a cancer cure as an attainable goal in his State of the Union address. I know it’s a very tall order but we did put a man on the moon. Hey congress let’s start by fully funding the NIH.

  2. Pat Killingsworth Says:

    Yes! All about big data, Kate. Can computers save us?

  3. Suzanne Says:

    Funny that you wrote mostly what I was thinking of donating, should I have won. I added funds for Research just on MM and kidney function. My husband’s MM was diagnosed when his kidneys failed and had to get dialysis 3 times a week which made him terribly sick because the clinic, where he went to, treated him as a diabetic and would take out sometime 2 liters of fluid when in fact it was just normal weigh gain. He would constantly vomit or pass out therefore had no quality of life whatsoever during the 9 months he was on it. His stem cell transplant allowed him to get off when he regained 20% function. I truly believe he did not do as well as regular patients because of his kidney related problems which were always cited as the cause for reducing the full dose of chemo, pain medications, not being eligible for clinical trials, etc. He died in agony because they did not want to up the pain medication dose for fear it would further damage his kidneys. I also added funds to help people who cannot pay for the new protocols and would have upped the earning limit currently used.

  4. Pat Killingsworth Says:

    Good suggestion, Suzanne. With my wife working at the Davita Dialysis clinic here on the Island, I understand.

  5. Anne Says:

    Suzanne, I am so sorry for your loss. My husband also has renal impairment with his mm. I agree completely with your experience and your assessment. We are actively participating where we can funding myeloma research. The Crowd Funding Initiative’s 2 projects look to be kidney friendly. The International Kidney and Monoclonal Gammopathy Working Group (that’s a mouthful) is working hard on setting up nomenclature, diagnostic information, treatment information, etc to provide better information and earlier help for patients. Their next challenge is to get the IMF, L&LS, and MMRF to include their existence in their websites. For example, there is now MGRS – monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance – in addition to MGUS. The website can be found here:

  6. Pat Killingsworth Says:

    Dialysis/kidney research is way underfunded. May have something to do with the automatic inclusion of patients into Medicare. Double edged sword. Poor payouts equal poor care. I compare a half dozen dialysis clinics I’m spent time in since my diagnosis. Oncology care is light years better than dialysis care, and that’s here in Florida, where the overall medical care lags way behind Midwestern states, Boston and many others.

  7. Ark Says:

    Funny, I didn’t buy the ticket, because I was afraid what would I do with that kind of money if I win???

    But now that you mentioned it to donate to mm research, may be I will buy one next time…:)

  8. Pat Killingsworth Says:

    I’m going to try again!

  9. Berit Says:

    My answer is no…it won’t cure it right now. A big donation would be very hopeful, since of course money is the fuel that research needs. But it’s not a matter of $1 billion towards myeloma research and poof, everyone is cured. For that matter, how would people even know when a cure has arrived? Lots of myeloma patients do well for a long time.

  10. Pat Killingsworth Says:

    Are you being a joy-kill, Berit? Yes, it would take time to even absorb that amount of money and get it working for us. But you could attract the best and brightest researchers; get them working together. It was sort of a rhetorical question, because you’re right: How would you really know?

  11. Berit Says:

    Me? A killjoy? Never! 🙂 If I won the lottery, you bet I’d be donating to myeloma research in hopes of a cure. But if I won $1 billion, the questions are:

    1. Who to donate to? There are a lot of choices: the IMF, MMRF, LLS, CrowdCare…
    2. How long will this take? Money will get it going, but it won’t be instantaneous. If it takes five years to find a cure, a lot of myeloma patients will die in that time.
    3. Will this cure be for everyone or only newly diagnosed patients? That would still be great, but would hate to leave late stage myeloma patients out in the cold.
    4. And again, how will we know that whatever the researchers come up with is a cure as opposed to a new and effective tool in the toolbox?

    Now that I’ve been the proverbial turd in the punch bowl, I’d like to say that everyone should support the myeloma charity of their choice–it will help us get there–eventually.

  12. Pat Killingsworth Says:

    You’re right, Berit. I ran the challenges down in a later post, speculating over most of your questions. Who to donate to? All of ’em! Because yes, no one has infrastructure in place to handle more than a few million at a time. Maybe MMRF could infuse eight figures, but not 100 million. I’m blogging about it on the MMRF site this month. Hope they let me run it. Premise is: Is money holding up the cure or wouldn’t a gazillion dollars do the trick? I pose the question to MMRF leadership. You’re right again. New patients easiest to “cure.” But I don’t think late stage, “experienced” patients (as the MMRF calls us) would be shortchanged. I think one of the bottlenecks would be finding enough patients for flood of trials. I suggest paying for international patients without access to new drugs we have to travel here. Did you know that most clinical trials accept international patients? It’s expensive, but they need to pay for their own travel and lodging. That’s the advice I give patients and caregivers that email me from India and Africa–even Europe.

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