Gareth Morgan, M.D., Ph.D., (third from left) poses with patients and staff at the Myeloma Institute who welcomed the donation of blankets.

Gareth Morgan, M.D., Ph.D., (third from left) poses with patients and staff at the Myeloma Institute who welcomed the donation of blankets.

Aug. 4, 2017 | Patients of the UAMS Myeloma Institute will soon be wrapped in additional care and comfort, thanks to the Subaru Loves to Care initiative launched last year by the vehicle manufacturer in partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

As part of the nationwide initiative, employees from the Subaru of Little Rock dealership and the Arkansas division of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society arrived for a noon visit July 26 bearing boxes filled with nearly 100 blankets to share with patients receiving treatment in the Myeloma Institute’s fourth-floor infusion clinic.

“This is a really important gift for us and we thank you all very much,” Gareth Morgan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Myeloma Institute, told those assembled for the presentation, including several patients and their families.

“With temperatures reaching nearly 100 degrees outside right now, I guess some may wonder why these patients are getting these blankets now,” Morgan said. “But if you’ve been in a hospital for any amount of time, you understand that it can get very cold in here,” he added with a chuckle.

Delivering the blankets to UAMS were Leigh Ann Brannon of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Subaru of Little Rock’s Lucas Darius, Charles Clark and Cecil Turner, manager of marketing and sales. Turner said his own life had been touched by a loved one diagnosed with cancer.

More than 38,000 blankets will be delivered across the country to patients in their communities fighting cancer.

Some of the patients like Bennie Utley, of Cabot, have been battling the illness for years.

“I was diagnosed in 2005,” Utley said. “My urologist referred me here for another disease and my quality of life is really good. I am happy to have this place so close to us.”

Donald Robertson and his wife, Yolanda, began traveling from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Little Rock for his treatment after he was diagnosed three years ago.

“We wanted to come to the top place for stem-cell transplant,” said Yolanda.

This summer, visitors to 475 Subaru retailers nationwide were given the chance to share personalized messages of hope to patients in their local communities. Those participating also received a bracelet to help spread awareness of leukemia and lymphoma and the automaker’s goal to extend care and hope.

After distributing the blankets, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which exists to find cures and ensure access to treatment for blood cancer patients, including those with myeloma, will feature online inspiring stories and photos of survivors and patients from across the nation.

The UAMS Myeloma Institute is the world’s foremost research and treatment center for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood’s plasma cells. Visit myeloma.uams.edu.  Find us on FacebookTwitter or YouTube.