The seed for the International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF) was planted in l994 by pharmacist Arnold Smokler of Washington, D.C. Diagnosed with Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM) and finding little information available anywhere, Arnold took the initiative to locate other WM patients, formed a local WM support group, and began his own search for information to share with other WM survivors and caregivers.
The support group published a newsletter which attracted other patients in the region and from around the country. By 1998 the organization had grown substantially and was incorporated in Florida as a nonprofit corporation under its current name.
The IWMF has at present a worldwide membership of nearly 4,000. Today the IWMF:
- provides support to patients and their caregivers
- enables patients to communicate with one another
- sponsors WM educational forums featuring prominent physicians and researchers
- publishes booklets on WM and its treatment
- supports research aimed at ultimately finding a cure for WM
Since 2000 nearly four million dollars have been awarded to institutions conducting research on this disease.