The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was founded in 1998 by identical twin sisters Kathy Giusti and Karen Andrews soon after Kathy was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. With limited research funding, no effective treatments, and few clinical trials in the pipeline, the life expectancy of the rare and fatal cancer was only 3 years.
Though there was little hope for patients at the time, Kathy was determined to beat the odds and help raise her 1-year-old daughter, Nicole. She enlisted Karen’s help to form a research foundation that could overcome the challenges slowing the development of new treatments and improve the outlook for patients with multiple myeloma.
Fortunately, Kathy and Karen had the business acumen needed to start what would become one of today’s most innovative research foundations. Kathy, a graduate of Harvard Business School, had 2 decades of experiences in the pharmaceutical industry. Karen was a corporate attorney. Together, they founded the MMRF with the same business principles—speed, innovation, and results—they embraced at the Fortune 500 companies where they had risen through the ranks.
In 2006, Kathy underwent a stem cell transplant with Karen serving as her donor; and, with the help of the drugs the MMRF developed, she has remained in remission.
Today, Kathy is present in everything the MMRF does. She commits herself to sharing her vision what the MMRF has accomplished with others through the Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator at Harvard Business School. Kathy and Karen currently sit on the Board of Directors of the MMRF.
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