We’re delighted to share that Dr. Lou was on NBC’s TODAY show speaking about LLS’s dedication to finding new ways to treat pediatric cancer through The LLS Children’s Initiative.
Young cancer survivor Austin Schuetz from Falls River, WI, and his family were featured in the piece. At five years old, Austin had been dealing with leukemia for the majority of his young life. His parents enrolled him into a clinical trial; it was their only hope. The pioneering therapy administered was CAR T-cell immunotherapy.
In the treatment of children with acute myeloid leukemia “We have plateaued. The tools in our toolbox are all sledgehammers.”
This grim assessment was how Dr. E. Anders Kolb, of Nemours/Alfred I DuPont Hospital for Children, characterized the state of treatment for children with this devastating form of leukemia.
Dr. Kolb was among a group of pediatric oncologists to join The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in hosting an event in Atlanta this week to discuss LLS’s new $50 million Children’s Initiative, a multi-faceted effort to:
double our investment in research;
expand support services for patients and families;
and launch a major collaborative clinical trial in acute leukemia
LLS is leading the charge to fundamentally change how we treat and care for children with blood cancer. But we can’t do it alone. The audience for the Atlanta event was approximately 80 parents and advocates from foundations focused on children touched by blood cancer. They heard from a panel of doctors who have joined with LLS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gwen Nichols to develop and implement a bold global LLS-led clinical trial to bring precision medicine to children with acute leukemia. The attendees participated in a spirited discussion about how they can get involved and help.
LLS And United Food & Commercial Workers International Union Are Fighting Cancer in the Communities Where They Work and Live
United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (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 $90 million for LLS’s goal to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients.
Led by members of the 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.
A three-year UFCW member in San Diego, California, Eva knows firsthand the urgent need for lifesaving cancer treatments. In June 2018, she knew something wasn’t right with her 17-year-old son Enrique, when he began experiencing debilitating headaches and difficulty breathing. After seeing several doctors, they learned he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“Our whole world was turned upside down,” says Eva.
Enrique spent the next several months in and out of the hospital undergoing treatment and fighting for his life. But Eva never left his side, and Enrique never gave up hope.
Even after missing his entire senior year of high school, Enrique kept up with schoolwork and was able to graduate with his classmates in June 2019. Today, he is in the maintenance phase of his treatment and takes daily oral chemotherapy from home. An avid animal lover, he plans to pursue a career in agriculture and work on a farm one day.
“To anyone experiencing the devastation of cancer, you have to stay strong,” says Eva. “I’m so thankful that UFCW is helping LLS accomplish more than any other cancer nonprofit to advance research and cures for blood cancer patients, like my son Enrique.”
Because of treatment advancements that LLS helped fund, families like Eva’s are able to stay together and have second chance to pursue their dreams.