About Us

 

How Our Myeloma Cancer Support Group Got Started

 

With courage as his biggest weapon against myeloma, Fred Gloor, with the incredible support of his wife Virginia, had fought valiantly for 12 years against a disease for which there is no cure. It was in 1992 he received a diagnosis of MGUS. Learning that he only had a 25% chance of developing myeloma, Mr. Gloor planned for retirement; a full plate of enjoying life. Just as he retired in 1995 he learned the disease had progressed to myeloma. It was then the battle began in earnest. In the long run, his battle has produced many victories, including the founding of the San Diego Multiple Myeloma Support Group.

In the beginning Mr. Gloor struggled through treatments not knowing one other myeloma patient. After finishing a stem cell transplant treatment in July of 1997, he began attending a support group for patients who had stem cell transplants. It was there that he met two other myeloma patients and the need for a support group dedicated to myeloma became clear. During this same period, Mr. Gloor discovered the IMF and learned that there was no support group in San Diego. The challenge from the IMF to Mr. Gloor was to start a local support group and in his usual courageous manner, he thought “why not?” Mr. Gloor recalls how his life changed when he started the group. He believes myeloma ordained him to help others with this disease in any way possible. Every time he talked with a newly diagnosed patient or family member he gained courage as he helped alleviate their fear and gave them hope. He often quoted a phrase from Dr. Bernie Segal, “there are no incurable diseases, only incurable people.” His straightforward advice to anyone battling the disease was to become an exceptional cancer patient, to be proactive and take control of his or her disease.

In seven short years, with Mr. Gloor leading the charge, the San Diego Myeloma Support Group grew from its initial five members to a very active and well-attended 70-member group. Mr. Gloor believed that without the support group he would not have had the success he had in battling the disease. Thinking back to the beginning, Mr. Gloor recalled how the IMF, by providing information, allows patients to overcome fear and focus on their recovery. Mr. Gloor grew up in San Diego and graduated from Saint Augustine High School. He graduated from the California Maritime Academy, spent three years in the Navy and 30 plus years as a sea going man. Mr. Gloor has sailed most of the Pacific between Alaska to the South Pole, his last 12 years as Master Mariner and Captain of the SS President Harrison.

Jack Williams San Diego Union Tribune Staff Writer
 

THE MULTIPLE MYELOMA SUPPORT GROUP OF SAN DIEGO WISHES TO THANK VIRGINIA GLOOR FOR HER CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR THE MULTIPLE MYELOMA CANCER SUPPORT GROUP IN SAN DIEGO.

“Dear San Diego Support Group Members: In 1989 three people sat in a coffee shop in London talking about what they could do to help make a difference for myeloma patients. Those three people were Brian Novis, Dr. Brian Durie and myself, Susie Novis. Little did we realize at the time how that conversation would not only change our own lives but the lives of thousands and thousands of people around the world. The dream of starting the IMF soon became a reality and in October 1990 Brian Novis, working out of a tiny basement office in our home, officially opened the IMF for business. And as they say, the rest is history. I’d like to invite you to take a walk with me down memory lane to see what we’ve accomplished over the past seventeen years www.myeloma.org. The progress we’ve made is because people just like you, have reached out to lend a helping hand. We couldn’t have accomplished what we have without the support of people from all walks of life and from all over the world – patients, family members, friends, doctors, researchers, corporations and foundations, people who in some way have been touched by myeloma. But before we start our walk, on behalf of the IMF and the members we serve, I would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to those who have helped make miracles happen. The San Diego Support Group has a great opportunity. Dr. Durie and the IMF would like to help San Diego to develop as a stronger center for Myeloma development. We plan on educating the San Diego Doctors and keeping them up to date with the latest changes and treatments in Myeloma. This will benefit everyone.” Susie Novis