Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness Month

Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness Month
Written By Renee Arbia

You may have noticed by now, that September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society usually will hold events in your area all month long as a fundraiser and get donations for research and for treatments for different blood cancers. According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society approximately every 3 minutes one person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Approximately every 10 minutes, one person in the United States dies from blood cancer. That ends up being 152 dying a day (6 people an hour) from a blood cancer.

Most of the donated money to blood cancers go to fund research. There is little known about blood cancers. Many forms of blood cancer have no known cause or cure. The survival rate for many is dire and treatments that we have can only treat symptoms.

My mother passed away from Leukemia in 2009. She was diagnosed and given three months. She lived a year. Without any of the treatments we would not have had her as long as we did. Blood Cancers are hard to treat because they can cause multiple problems in the human body. Every organ has blood in it. Imagine if your blood was carrying cancer within it, and attacking itself, and every organ it comes into contact with, that is what blood cancer, essentially does. My mom received countless blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, plasmapheresis, chemo therapy, a stem cell transplant and an experimental drug treatment. Yet, it none of it, saved her life.

When I would visit my mom in the hospital her floor was always sealed due to contamination. Patient rooms are double-door locked and the entire floor area is sealed for the patients’ protection due to their immune systems so badly weakened. While I was visiting my mom in the hospital I saw so many that were sick with blood cancer. The elderly, the babies, the children, the college students, there were people of every race, shape, size, and age. Blood Cancer knows no barriers. I watched a mom kiss a glass door because her two small daughters and husband were on the other side and she was unable to kiss them good night. This was not, my mom, this mom was very young, her children were young, yet, I saw children in the blood cancer area being treated. Blood cancer does not care about age or who you are.

Patience Brewster is one mom who is working hard to make sure that Blood Cancer research is being done. You may have heard of Patience Brewster, she is an artist and designer of handmade and handcrafted unique gifts and ornaments. It may seem an odd combination, a Christmas ornament company that is highly concerned about blood cancers. However, they have worked very closely with the LLS (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) ever since her son, Herm, was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma back in 2002. Despite his illness, Herm worked with the company as he fought this disease with tenacity, and unwavering diligence until 2005 when he left this world at age 26.

In his honor, his family started the Holland C Gregg IV Research Fund. Patience Brewster, his mother, designs a special ornament every year to raise research funding toward a cure for these cancers. Their hope is that, you will join us in raising awareness of blood cancers and bringing awareness to the great need for research into
better treatments for Leukemia and Lymphoma.

They created the Holland C. Greg IV Research Fund, a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fun in her son’s name. This fund specifically funds the advances in immunotherapy being done by Catherine Bollard at Children’s Hospital in D.C. and Baylor University in Austin, Texas under Helen Hissup. All proceeds go DIRECTLY to research. The research team they have met and had first hand experience with. The research team is working on developing less traumatic and more effective therapies for blood cancers, and finding treatments for other ailments along the way.

Every year Patience Brewster designs a new ornament for the purpose of raising money and awareness. This year it is, Huck, the Woodland Raccoon. Her son’s favorite animal was a raccoon, and one of his many nicknames was Huck. You can donate $1, $5, $10 or more. Every little bit helps.

To find out more about Patience Brewster and the Holland C. Greg IV Research Fund, or to purchase an adorable Raccoon Christmas Ornament that goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or to donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the Holland C. Greg IV Research Fund, visit Patience’s Blog (PatienceBrewster.com) about Blood Cancer Awareness and the story of her family!

Please share this with your friends and family to spread awareness for blood cancers this month! Thank you for your help!

#Leukemiaandlymphoma, #bloodcancerawarenessmonth, #patiencebrewster, #Huckthewoodlandraccoon, #nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmgivingback, #donate

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