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Former MLB star Steve Garvey talks Myeloma campaign

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(NEW YORK) — Steve Garvey was one of the most-feared hitters in baseball during the prime of his career. Now, the 10-time All Star first baseman is looking to give back, and fight a disease that affected his family directly.

“There are times when certain diseases hit close to home. My father-in-law almost a decade ago suffered from that [Myeloma]… we put together a great, great ‘Myeloma MVP,’ Most Valuable Plan, and a wonderful website,” says Garvey, in an exclusive conversation with ABC News. He says the campaign has “been a great success.”

Garvey partnered with Amgen and former ballplayers to form Myeloma MVP, an online campaign that works to raise awareness for Myeloma patients and their affected families. His goal was two-fold. He wanted to fight a disease that took his father-in-law’s life and set an example for current Major Leaguers and youth baseball players:

“My philosophy is I’ve been given this great, great life, and it’s so very, very important for me to give back and thank God for it. And with this campaign it’s a wonderful way to do it.”

Garvey speaks to teens and young professional ballplayers, encouraging them to find a way to give back because it “shows the public that pays their hard-earned money and time and effort to come watch us on the field and on TV to know that we care about them, we’re neighbors, and we’re part of the community.”

Myeloma MVP provides users with a guide to create a better dialogue with health professionals, find support groups, and understand treatment goals.

For Garvey, he wants the campaign to reflect the same team-building principles he employed while a player in the Major Leagues, saying in his life, he has learned a team can help people through their most difficult hardships:

“We encourage patients to go online, learn more about this disease, to develop a stronger dialogue with their doctor’s and support team, and to build a team. I played a great team sport, and in life it’s important to do that because the most important team is our family.”

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