Florida Marlins hooked on walk for multiple myeloma

Fishermen say that the better the bait, the more interesting the fish. In this case, the University of Miami caught the eye of the Florida Marlins with the third annual walk for multiple myeloma planned for Oct. 14.

Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority is hosting the walk for multiple myeloma, a cancer that renders cells in the immune system ineffective. The sorority expects students, community members and the Marlins to participate.

“I started off with sorority awareness events, and the walk just kind of happened,” said Denise Vidot, president of the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, who launched the first myeloma walk in 2005. Last year, the walk raised $10,000. This year, Denise expects a “huge increase” in the amount of money raised and in the number of participants.

The Marlins, a sponsor of the event, will be showing their support by supplying a free lunch, giving away freebies and raffling off autographed equipment.

The walk serves many purposes in the community, said Suzanne Battaglia, the developmental assistant at the International Myeloma Foundation.

“One of the things we encourage, in addition to raising money for research, is public awareness,” Battaglia said. “People can go undiagnosed, and especially with cancer, the earlier the diagnosis, the better.”

The American Cancer Society predicts that 19,900 individuals will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2007, and an early diagnosis may prevent further complications.

By raising awareness throughout the community and gaining the support of groups like the Marlins, organizers and participants believe the walk is an effective way to raise both money toward research and awareness.

“It seems like it’s going to be really big,” said Carnell Brame, a junior who plans to participate. “I’m excited that a lot of people are participating. I think it’s going to be a big tradition.”

Registration is $20 to walk solo or $10 to walk as a team of five or more. Registered participants receive a T-shirt and are entered in raffles to win prizes.

For more information about the walk, e-mail Denise Vidot at peaches2822@aol.com. To learn more about multiple myeloma, visit the International Myeloma Foundation at www.myeloma.org.

Padma Sarvepalli may be contacted at p.sarvepalli@umiami.edu