Iowa Chapter

Patient Support Programs

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is committed to reaching out in meaningful ways to those affected by a diagnosis of leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and myeloma.  Many programs have been developed to meet the needs of patients, families and oncology professionals.

To find out more about these programs, contact Patient Services Manager Wendy Sontag at (515)270-6169, toll free at (800) 347-1074 or by email

The chapter sponsors long-term general Family Support Groups in Des Moines and Iowa City as well as a monthly Telephone Group. The Family Support Group Program is based on the idea that open communication is critical for coping with all the feelings that arise during illness.  Two qualified healthcare professionals facilitate each group.  Patients, family members and friends affected by blood cancers are welcome to attend.  All support groups are free.

Des Moines - The Des Moines Family Support Group meets the second Thursday evening of each month at John Stoddard Cancer Center.

Iowa City - The Iowa City Family Support Group meets the first Wednesday evening of every January, April, July, and October at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge.

Telephone Support Group - The Telephone Support Group meets the second Tuesday morning of each month. 

For specific information about times and locations, please call the chapter's patient services manager at (800) 347-1074 or email


Also newly available is the Hang Up Cancer Club Young Adult Midwest Regional Telephone Support Group. Click here for details.



First Connection is a peer-to-peer support program for patients and family members in all stages of treatment and survival. Trained survivor/volunteers make calls to patients and family members with similar diagnoses to provide hope and share coping strategies. For more information, contact Wendy Sontag at 800-347-1074 or apply online to be contacted by a First Connection volunteer.



LLS provides free information about blood cancers and their treatments through booklets, brochures, videos, educational programs and teleconferences.  For more information, contact Wendy Sontag at 800-347-1074. 

The chapter offers the following free public education programs:

  • Cancer Treatment - How to Make Informed Choices about Standard Care and Clinical Trials
  • Staying Connected - Facilitating the Learning Experience for Children with Cancer
  • Annual Blood Cancer Symposium
  • Click here to register for one of these programs.



The Information Resource Center (IRC), a toll-free hotline at (800) 955-4572, serves the public and the professional healthcare community. Staffed by oncology social workers and nurses, the IRC provides callers with educational information and referral services free of charge. Specialists are on call Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Information specialists will also respond to email requests at  or you can chat online with a specialist by visiting and clicking on "Live Help."


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Office of Public Policy works to promote increased federal funding of biomedical research and to influence healthcare reform issues. If you are interested in advocacy issues and would like to be a member of the Advocacy Network, please contact Wendy Sontag at



This program facilitates communication between parents, patients, teachers and healthcare professionals to help young patients make a smooth transition from hospital to school. Materials, videos and publications are available free of charge. 



last updated on Wednesday, December 10, 2014