Corporations usually have enough on their plate, just taking care of business, but at least one has found a creative way to also help generate millions of dollars to fund blood cancer research, education and patient services.
Outerwall, the Seattle-based company behind the Coinstar network of coin-counting kiosks, partners with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through a “Pennies for Patients” program that has thousands of schools raising money for the cause. School teachers, administrators and volunteers simply take their donations to a Coinstar location (there are 17,000 around the nation) and select LLS as their charity. Almost 90 percent of Coinstar kiosks include LLS, and consumers direct about 85 percent of their charitable coin donations to LLS.
William Matsui, M.D., an oncology professor and researcher at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recently received a Translational Research Program grant from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to pursue the development of treatments that can prevent relapse for multiple myeloma patients.
Several new therapies have been approved recently that have dramatically improved the ability to reduce tumor burden in previously treated multiple myeloma patients. However, the disease is still incurable. Will your research be able to change that?
The introduction of new therapies has significantly improved outcomes for patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and in many cases these medications can eradicate all measurable tumor burden. Unfortunately, cures remain rare in myeloma and most people will eventually relapse. If we can better understand how and why myeloma grows back, we hope that we can prevent relapse and eventually improve the long-term outlook for myeloma patients.
Survivorship Series: Art, friends and chair yoga help Jane to live each day to the fullest
By definition a survivor is a person who copes with difficulties in their life. In 2006, my 80-year-old father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Like most people, I had no idea what that meant. After doing some research, I discovered it to be a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, which can be treated but not cured. He was diabetic and had heart disease, there weren’t many treatments, so options were limited. He passed within ten months. I didn’t realize it then but he showed me how to be strong and positive when faced with adversity.
In 2008, I retired from teaching art, mostly because I was feeling tired all the time and didn’t want the program I was running to suffer because I couldn’t keep up. I chalked it up to old age. I was enjoying my first full year of retirement when I woke up with a backache, and after two months of tests, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma myself.
Since that day in July 2010, I've gone through many treatments, including induction therapy, two kyphoplasty surgeries repairing four vertebrae, and two tandem autologous stem cell transplants. I relapsed in 2012 and have been in treatment since then, getting close to our favorite word…remission!