The mission of the HealthTree Foundation is to improve patient outcomes by removing barriers to a cure. The HealthTree Foundation is a patient-driven, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that empowers patients with rare diseases at each step of their disease journey - from diagnosis, through education, care and on to a cure using unique in-person and technical tools.
At HealthTree, we don’t just want to state our mission, we want to make it a reality. Today we are sharing how we have been able to empower patients through care thanks to donations like yours. Don’t miss our Giving Tuesday campaign on December 1st, 2020.
Here is our Myeloma Coach Program Director, Rozalynn Hite, sharing her myeloma story:
My husband was diagnosed with myeloma in 2015. He was only 39 years old. We were in complete shock and scared to death. We were instantly assigned to a care provider and faced with making critical treatment decisions. Luckily (for us) we had a friend who had myeloma, Jenny Ahlstrom(diagnosed 5 years prior). She shared critical information and encouraged us to transfer his care to a myeloma specialist. That alone likely improved his outcomes and extended his survival.
We were slowly introduced to others living with myeloma. We were grateful to talk to someone who could relate, share advice, guidance, and most importantly hope. As time went on it became therapeutic for my husband to talk to other patients in the clinic who were just beginning their journey and pass on the same hope to them.
In 2019, Jenny told me that she was interested in launching a Myeloma Coach program through the HealthTree Foundation. It would offer personalized, peer to peer support, encouragement, and resources to all myeloma patients and caregivers. Coaches would be either a myeloma patient or a caregiver themselves who truly cared about helping others. They could personally relate to the shock of the diagnosis, making treatment decisions, preparing for stem cell transplant, and dealing with side effects. She wanted me to be involved in the program.
I jumped at the chance to be involved because I want everyone with myeloma to experience the guidance we had, as I knew it would make all of the difference. The program, thankfully, has unfolded exactly how we had envisioned.
Coaches share what made it easier for them and helped them deal with the emotional, physical, and financial impact of myeloma. Having the opportunity to talk to another who truly cares, who can personally relate to what you are experiencing offers comfort and a safe space to talk openly and honestly.
If you would like to work with a Myeloma Coach or become a Coach, I invite you to visit our website: www.myelomacoach.org. We truly believe that no one should have to face myeloma alone.
If you want to support Rozalynn and her team continue to empower patients through care, consider donating and sharing this Giving Tuesday.
Did you know that many companies offer a matching gift program to encourage philanthropy among the employees? By simply completing a matching gift form online you may be able to double, or even triple, the impact of your donation! Contributions of any amount help contribute and fund groundbreaking research for high-risk diseases.
Use the search field below to see if your employee participants in the matching gift program. For questions regarding your matching gift, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
about the author
Audrey joined the Myeloma Crowd as the Community Manager in 2020 after previously working in the nonprofit field for 4 years as a director of Fundraising and Development. She graduated from BYU with a major in Spanish and Nonprofit Management. Audrey is passionate about serving others, loves learning, and enjoys a nice mug of hot chocolate no matter the weather.