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.
I can’t think of better partners to join us in the fight against cancer than the future nonprofit and healthcare executives of the world. Whether students, recent grads or professionals transitioning to a new career path, LLS embraces the support of volunteer interns throughout the year as we work tirelessly toward a world without blood cancer.
In honor of National Intern Day on July 25, we at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) are proud to shine a light on our dedicated and brilliant volunteer interns who are helping us beat cancer. Our interns are part of a diverse and vibrant community of LLS volunteers across the country, who give their time and talent to activities that support our mission.
It’s incredibly inspiring for me – and all of us at LLS – to see next-generation leaders in action. LLS volunteer interns are tech-savvy, creative and eager to roll up their sleeves and make a big difference in the lives of patients and families. Their unique perspectives, transferrable skills and big ideas are game changing for our organization and our quest to find cancer cures.
If you’re interning with LLS now or if you have in the past: thank you. Thank you for sharing your passion, talent and time with us. From helping our chapters with critical projects and raising funds to providing support to patients and families and advocating for policy changes at the state and federal level, our lifesaving work depends on volunteers like you joining the fold.
Volunteers touch every facet of our organization, and thanks to this partnership:
LLS has invested nearly $1.3 billion in cutting edge cancer research since 1949.
We are the leading source of free blood cancer information, education and support for patients, survivors, caregivers, families and healthcare professionals.
LLS helped pass into the law The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act, the most comprehensive federal childhood cancer legislation ever introduced.
Our progress over the past 70 years has brought us to a new era of cancer treatment and care. But to achieve our mission, we need to continue bringing together the best and brightest minds. LLS helps set up our volunteer interns for successful careers in any fields they choose, giving them practical, hands-on learning experiences, while instilling community mindedness and importantly, compassion. And compassionate, committed leaders are exactly what we need to cure cancer.
Want to give your time and talent to the fight against blood cancer? Check out the latest volunteer opportunities with LLS.