This was done in 2007, when Ms. Ferarro was in remission. She expressed concern in this video about the fact that drugs that allowed her to stay alive were not available for all. This continues to be the case. Unless you have a lot of money or good insurance, you may not be able to get the treatment many of us count on to keep us among the living. In this video, she’s getting Velcade and talks about research and funding.
This is from the AP. Other reports mentioned only “complications,” which we now know to be pneumonia. It’s very common for myeloma patients to develop pneumonia.
Ferraro died at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she had gone Monday for a procedure to relieve back pain caused by a fracture. Such fractures are common in people with her type of blood cancer, multiple myeloma, because of the thinning of their bones, said Dr. Noopur Raje, the Mass General doctor who treated her.
Ferraro, however, developed pneumonia, which made it impossible to perform the procedure, and it soon became clear she didn’t have long to live, Raje said. Since she was too ill to return to New York, her family went to Boston.
Raje said it seemed Ferraro held out until her husband and three children arrived. They were all at her bedside when she passed, she said.
“Gerry actually waited for all of them to come, which I think was incredible,” said Raje, director of the meyloma program at the hospital’s cancer center. “They were all able to say their goodbyes to Mom.”
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Mourns Loss of Geraldine Ferraro
Pioneer, Leader, and MMRF Honorary Board Member Succumbs to Multiple Myeloma
Norwalk, CT — March 26, 2011
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is deeply saddened by the loss of Geraldine Ferraro (1935-2011), a Member of the MMRF Honorary Board of Directors and a dear friend. Ferraro passed away this morning from complications following a long and courageous battle with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer.
“Geraldine Ferraro was a true trailblazer, an inspiration to many, an incredible advocate for cancer research, and a very dear friend. She will be sadly missed, never far from our hearts, and fondly remembered for her incredible legacy and the extraordinary woman who she was. We pray that her family finds comfort and peace during this sorrowful time,” said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and a patient with multiple myeloma.
In addition to serving on the MMRF’s Honorary Board of Directors, Ferraro was actively involved in the Foundation’s work to bring new treatments to patients. In 2002, she passionately testified before Congress for the critical need for increased research funding, and a year later, a bill was signed authorizing $250 million for blood cancer research. Congress then appropriated $5 million to the Geraldine Ferraro Blood Cancer Education Program in 2003 and renewed funding in 2006, enabling the MMRF to provide high-quality educational programs to underserved populations.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 38 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2010, more than 20,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and nearly 11,000 people are predicted to die from the disease.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world’s number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $160 million since its inception to fund more than 130 laboratories worldwide. An outstanding 89% of funds raised go toward research and related programming. The MMRF has supported 70 new compounds and approaches in clinical trials and pre-clinical studies and has facilitated 30 clinical trials through its sister organization, the MMRC. For more information about the MMRF, visit www.themmrf.org.
Media inquiries, contact:
Anne Quinn Young – (203) 536-8691