After learning that March is Myeloma Awareness Month, Mayor Kelly Boyd — who was diagnosed in February with multiple myeloma — moved quickly to include Laguna Beach.

Boyd presented a proclamation to Myeloma Foundation representative Thomas Swick at the March 5 council meeting urging residents to join him in participating in activities that support myeloma education and the funding of research programs to find a cure.

"Thank you for this proclamation that raises public awareness about this incurable disease," Swick said.

Many patients had never heard of multiple myeloma until they were diagnosed and that is where the foundation comes in.

"Our support group is a place where patients and their families can learn about new treatments and get advice from those who are living with the disease," Swick said. "Seeing them vibrant and surviving is a huge relief."

According to the proclamation, multiple myeloma is the second-most common blood cancer worldwide, called multiple because the cancer can occur at more than one site.

More than 100,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed, with an estimated 20,000 new cases each year. Ten thousand patients die every year.

There is no cure at present, but an increased awareness of myeloma for doctors and the general public will lead to earlier diagnosis, allowing people to live longer.

"Thank you, mayor, for your help in our fight and your fight," Sick said.

Boyd had announced at the Feb. 12 meeting that he had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma and began chemotherapy the next day.

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