For over 10 years, Reverend Priscilla Lawrence and Patrick MeLampy have been invaluable supporters to Dana-Farber’s mission and success through support of various Jimmy Fund initiatives. In addition, Lawrence and her brother, Mark, also serve as trustees of the Oliver and Jennie Donaldson Trust, and were key in advocating for Dana-Farber to apply for grants from the trust. As a result, Dana-Farber was awarded funding for two projects, including a gift to the PROMISE study—a Dana-Farber-led screening study of individuals at high-risk of precursor conditions of multiple myeloma. Priscilla’s mother passed from the disease and a close friend of the couple is undergoing treatment at Dana-Farber for it as well.
More recently, Priscilla and Patrick furthered their support with a generous gift to The Dana-Farber Campaign, to establish the Lawrence-MeLampy Fund for Multiple Myeloma Research.
The fund will advance research led by Irene Ghobrial, MD, in the Center for Prevention of Progression of Blood Cancers (CPOP) within the Jerome Lipper Center for Multiple Myeloma. Ghobrial serves as director of CPOP, as well as director of translational research in the department of Multiple Myeloma and a Lavine Family Chair for Preventative Cancer Therapies at Dana-Farber.
With multiple myeloma, most patients have one or two precursor conditions, called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) or smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), prior to progression of the disease. CPOP hopes to gather more data to inform early detection and treatment strategies through national studies of large groups of healthy patients to gather a better understanding of the molecular markers that prevent disease progression. In addition to providing funding, Priscilla is also a participant in this study.
“To be able to stop this disease before it leads to pain and more serious damage would be incredible,” said Priscilla.
“Priscilla and Patrick’s generous gift and commitment to my research is incredibly important. This funding will be crucial to support research that will strengthen our ability to better understand these markers and will help us provide a road-map of therapeutic options that will make multiple myeloma a preventable or possibly curable disease,” said Ghobrial.