Many physicians go the extra mile for their patients. Few go more than 1,700. But Dr. Rafat Abonour, an Indiana University myeloma researcher and IU Health physician, has done just that.
On Oct. 3, Dr. Abonour and his fellow Miles for Myeloma cyclists – a crew made up of myeloma researchers and medical caregivers, family members of patients and even a couple of patients themselves – will set out on the 10th annual Miles for Myeloma ride. The three-day cycling event gives myeloma patients and their loved ones the opportunity to conduct personalized fund-raising campaigns to generate awareness about the blood cancer and raise funding for research aimed at improving treatments for this rare disease. This year, the cyclists will begin their journey in Indianapolis on Friday, Oct. 3, and ride to the southern Indiana town of Spencer. On Saturday, Oct. 4, the group will continue on to Terre Haute. On Sunday, Oct. 5, they will return to downtown Indianapolis for a finish-line celebration at 4:30 pm at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. The finish-line celebration will be immediately followed by a dinner and education symposium for myeloma patients and their families.
Miles for Myeloma began as a group of Dr. Abonour’s patients who wanted to organize a run/walk event to raise funds for multiple myeloma research at Indiana University. Rather than have his patients plan a standard participatory event, Dr. Abonour offered to cover the miles — and the state of Indiana — himself. He reasoned that as his patients travel from all parts of Indiana to visit him, he should make an effort to go to them. Since the inaugural tour in 2005, Miles for Myeloma has raised more than $2.4 million for multiple myeloma research at the IU Simon Cancer Center.
Read how funds raised from Miles for Myeloma have helped win approval of new drugs, developed methods to alleviate debilitating symptoms of the disease and illuminated how myeloma hijacks the body’s normal systems.