Cancer will not wait for COVID-19 to go away. And blood cancer patients can’t wait either. In fact, they need support now, more than ever. Because of dedicated volunteers and partners like United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), LLS is still able to carry out our lifesaving work in communities across the country, even amidst a global pandemic.
UFCW is one of North America’s largest labor organizations with more than 1.3 million members and has been a powerful voice for LLS since the partnership began in 1982. UFCW has raised more than $94 million for LLS’s goal to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients.
Led by the members of UFCW, Labor Against Cancer is a movement to end the devastation of cancer through fundraising drives among members, empowering them to band together for the good of others in the communities where they work and live.
“Labor Against Cancer not only reflects our union family’s growing commitment to the communities we live and work in, but to the cause of finding a cure for blood cancers,” said Marc Perrone, UFCW International President. “Whether you are a union member or not, we are determined to do our part to ensure that no one fighting cancer will struggle alone. Our partnership is a testament to our members and what can be accomplished when we all unite together.”
Longtime UFCW member, Charlene has been fighting blood cancer for several years by joining her fellow UFCW Local 1996 members at the annual Light The Night Walk fundraising event in her community. But she never imaged after all these years of fundraising for LLS’s lifesaving work, that LLS’s mission would hit so close to home.
“About ten months ago, the unthinkable happened,” said Charlene. “My primary physician became suspicious and sent me to a specialist in the field of blood diseases. When I first saw the oncologist, I could hear the words, but somehow I was not digesting them. He called it, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). All I heard him say was ‘leukemia’ and I thought, well, after all these years of fundraising for LLS, I certainly know how to spell it”.
While still in the “watch and wait” phase of her treatment, Charlene continues to keep a positive attitude and remains hopeful about the future.
“There are so many others who do not have the amazing love and support of so many,” said Charlene. “For me, I will not let blood cancer define me or steal my joy. It is all the people that work and fundraise to support LLS that give people like me the most needed thing and that is, hope.”
Learn more about Labor Against Cancer here.