The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association partners with statewide organizations, like the Arizona Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), who share our goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation. In Arizona we are fortunate to have some of the leading blood cancer practitioners and researchers, including our members at the Mayo Clinic. In today’s blog, LLS shares some of the other resources, like peer support and co-pay assistance programs, available to assist families in our state coping with a diagnosis and survivorship.
For Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is reminding us that despite progress, much work still needs to be done to save more lives. More than 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with or in remission from a blood cancer. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children, adolescents, and adults younger than 20 years. Leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are expected to cause the deaths of an estimated 58,320 people in the U.S. in 2016. In Arizona alone, it’s estimated that about 2,800 new blood cancer cases will be diagnosed each year and nearly 1,200 blood cancer patients in Arizona are expected to lose their battle.
LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world provides free information and support services and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
LLS works with local cancer researchers to find cures for cancer. To date, LLS has funded over $2.2 million in cancer research projects at the University of Arizona and the community has soon the impact. Drew is a leukemia patient in Phoenix. Last year at the age of 18 he was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). Thanks to the research funded by LLS, Drew has recently been put on maintenance therapy. This is a huge win for Drew and other patients struggling with ALL because he no longer requires monthly inpatient chemotherapy for weeks at a time. Due to the advances in treatment, Drew is able to take his chemotherapy orally. The side effects are minimal or as he says, “it has made a world of difference – no nausea, no hair loss.” Drew can now return to school and is working part time. He looks forward to “ringing the bell” when his care team declares him in remission.
In Arizona, LLS provides resources such as local family support groups, peer-support programs, co-pay assistance funding, local education, specialized support, community resource referral and much more. If you or someone you know is diagnosed with a blood cancer, the LLS Information Resource Center is a great starting place for education and support. Our goal is to live in a world without blood cancer. Join us.