Survivorship Series: Fifteen years after being diagnosed, Laura reflects on getting back to "normal."
I am glad to be here. Literally.
Being a survivor is a good thing. I could have been six feet under, after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on December 16, 2000. I was 40 years old, raising two children with my husband Ron. Our daughter was almost 4 years old and our son was 16 months.
After I was diagnosed, I spoke with a survivor through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s First Connection program. Hearing her voice on the phone gave me so much hope. She was seven years post-diagnosis. I told her, “I can’t wait to be on your side of the fence.” About two years later, I was, having gone through training to be a First Connection volunteer. It makes me feel good to help others. When I was in the hospital, my mother said to me, “Who knows? Maybe you will be a spokesperson for the cause someday.” I responded by telling her no way, I just wanted to get back to my life - I did not want to be a member of this club.
Auto Club Speedway Teams up with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Orange County Inland Empire Chapter is excited to announce a new partnership with Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Auto Club Speedway, California’s premier motorsports facility, is geared up to support LLS by hosting a series of fundraising events throughout the coming year.
Auto Club Speedway continues to be involved in making a difference in the local community, and the driving force behind their partnership with LLS is the close connection blood cancer has had on the Speedway family.
In April 2014, vice president of operations, Ray Wilkings’ very own daughter was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). She has since received a bone transplant from her mother, Darlene Wilkings, and is now leading a normal life with no sign of cancer.
Marking another promising advance for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, including those with a rare subset of this blood cancer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted priority review for an investigational compound that has shown positive results in a Phase II clinical trial.
Venetoclax has shown great potential as a new way of treating CLL patients who have received at least one prior therapy. It also appears to be effective for patients with a rare subset in which a piece of chromosome 17 is missing. Venetoclax works by inhibiting the BCL-2 protein and enabling a signaling system that tells cells, including cancer cells, to self-destruct.
More than 126,000 patients in the U.S. currently live with CLL, a typically slow-moving blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. Of those CLL patients who do not respond to therapy, or who have relapsed, approximately 30 percent are found to have a mutation in which they are missing part of chromosome 17.
A Priority Review designation is granted to medicines that the FDA believes have the potential to provide significant improvement in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a disease. The compound was granted a Breakthrough Therapy Designation in April 2015 in order to expedite its development and review.