Monday, August 15, 2011

Light The Night Kickoff

This weekend, I had the honor to attend the 2011 Light The Night Walk kickoff event for Red Bank, New Jersey. The Red Bank walk in the newest location in New Jersey to host a Light the Night Walk -- this is the third year for this location. As I explained in an earlier post, Light the Night is the oldest walk to raise money for cancer research.

At the kickoff event, we heard some additional information regarding the new treatment breakthrough for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL. Lawhawk posted about this last week. This new therapy essentially takes cancer T-Cells, infuses them with a new protein and reintroduces them into the body. The new infused cells begin to attack the cancer cells, and most excitedly, get the bodies existing cells to fight the cancer as well. Currently, two patients are more than 1 year cancer free, with a third approaching 1 year. When they get 12 patients cancer free for 1 year, the procedure will be considered for approval.

The reason for the discussion at the kickoff was that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has donated more than $50 million to this research over the years. Over that past several years, the FDA has approved 19 new drugs and therapies for blood cancer -- all with the assistance of the LLS. Of the 19, 12 have been approved or are being studied for the treatment of other forms of cancer as well. That is remarkable.

I was watching a baseball game the other day and a commercial for the MLB's involvement with Stand Up 2 Cancer came on (anyone who saw the All Star Game, the Stand up 2 cancer half inning display was chilling.) They splashed two stats on the screen that shook me. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will get cancer. The numbers are staggering. With respect to blood cancer:
Every 5 Minutes: Someone in the United States learns that he or she has leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease or myeloma.
Every 10 Minutes: Another child or adult is expected to die from a blood cancer.

This is why I renew my plea to all our readers and donations to the Light the Night Walk can be made through the link on the top left of the page, or by going to my team page . Any amount of support is greatly appreciated. By donating, you are not only helping to cure blood cancers, support caregivers, assist patients with purchasing drugs they could not otherwise afford, but you are indirectly supporting research that is going to treat and cure other cancers as well.

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