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The Leukemia Lymphoma Society Blog

37 Posts authored by: kriegell

yearend_12_email4_img.jpgFor some patients with blood cancers, a bone-marrow transplant is their best treatment option. But it is difficult and risky.

 

A breakthrough trial in Philadelphia by Dr. Carl June is using patients' own immune systems as a safer, better option. In this LLS-funded research, doctors collect a patient's immune T cells, engineer them in the lab as "killer cells" and return them to the patient. The modified cells are trained to attack the cancer and multiply to expand the anti-cancer army.

 

Last week, success of this trial was heralded in the media. In this "immunotherapy" clinical trial, three adults with chronic leukemia achieved complete remissions with no signs of disease. Four other adults showed partial remissions. And a six-year-old patient diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia is now seven months in complete remission.

 

This treatment option might have been appealing when 10-year old Joseph Kayal was diagnosed with pediatric leukemia. When chemotherapy didn't produce the desired result, he needed a transplant and was lucky that one of his four brothers was a perfect match. It was an arduous procedure that required a five-week hospitalization that kept him from school and sports.

 

For Joseph and his family - and blood cancer patients everywhere - LLS's drive to develop safer and more effective treatments like this immunotherapy brings hope. And your dollars are making that possible today, not someday.

 

Please consider making a year-end gift. You will join other forward-thinking people who are helping shape the future of cancer treatment. And the futures of young soccer players like Joseph.

 

Thank you,

 

John E. Walter

President & CEO

 

Donate Today!

Joanna L. Morales, Esq. has served the cancer community as a cancer rights attorney, advocate, speaker, and author for over 18 years.  She is CEO of Navigating Cancer Survivorship, a nonprofit organization providing education on the continuum of cancer survivorship issues. 

 

When individuals are diagnosed with cancer, few realize just how expensive cancer care can be.  Whether it is chemotherapy, biologic therapy, surgery, stem cell transplantation, or other health care, treatment costs can easily add up and become a burden for patients and their families.  But there are some resources out there to help you manage cancer care costs.

 

Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA)

There are a few ways that ACA (also known as health care reform) helps to cover the costs of health care for individuals with cancer.  Although much of the law does not go into effect until 2014, there are a few ways that the law has already started to help:

 

1.    Access to clinical trials: Participating in a clinical trial might be an excellent option for someone diagnosed with cancer.  However, insurance companies will often not pay for any care if an individual decides to participate in a clinical trial.  The company sponsoring the clinical trial will usually cover the prescription drug, treatment, or procedure being tested, but that leaves the “routine costs” of care for the patient to pay, including doctor visits, blood tests, scans, etc.  There are 36 states and the District of Columbia which have laws that require insurance companies to cover those routine costs for individuals who decide to participate in an eligible clinical trial.  The ACA makes this requirement federal law, but does not go into effect until January 1, 2014.  Click here for information about your state’s laws on clinical trials coverage.

 

2.    Lifetime Limits: Insurance companies can no longer place lifetime limits on policies, which is especially important for individuals with serious or chronic medical conditions.

 

3.    Annual Limits: Insurance companies are now restricted in the way that they place annual limits on health insurance policies.

 

4.    Medical Loss Ratio: In general, insurance companies are now required to spend 80-85% of your premiums on providing you with quality health care, rather than on administrative, overhead, and marketing costs.  Insurers that do not comply must provide premium rebates to consumers and employers.  This year, health care consumers and employers across the country received premium rebates.  Click here to view a rebate calculator to see if you were entitled to a rebate.

 

For more information about how health care reforms might apply to you, visit www.HealthCare.gov.

 

Oral Chemo Parity Laws

Although there has been some progress, there are still many opportunities to address the costs of health care.  For example, oral chemotherapy generally brings much higher out-of-pocket costs for patients.  Oral cancer medications are typically covered under a health plan’s pharmacy benefit, and often requires patients to pay high out-of-pocket co-pays to fill these prescriptions.  There are often no intravenous substitutes for oral chemotherapy drugs.  Unfortunately, in this case, insurance coverage has not kept up with medical advances.  These are state protections, but a federal law would provide comprehensive protection.  As of January 2012, only 15 states have enacted oral chemotherapy access laws: Oregon, Indiana, Iowa, Hawaii, District of Columbia, Vermont, Connecticut, Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas, New York, Washington, and New Jersey.

 

Click here to learn more about how you can get involved in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s legislative advocacy efforts, which include advocating for insurance coverage of clinical trials and oral chemotherapy.

 

Financial Assistance Programs

There are many programs available that provide financial assistance with co-pays, health care premiums, co-insurance, deductibles, and other expenses.  These are just a few places to look for financial assistance programs:

•    The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

•    Cancer Financial Assistance Council

•    National Cancer Institute

 

Think creatively.  Maybe you can get assistance with your utility bills, so that you can use that money that you have set aside for your utilities to pay some of your health care costs.  Some health care providers may be willing to discount your medical bill, so it can be worthwhile to ask.  Consider setting up an online fundraiser through a website such as GiveForward, to raise money to help pay for medical bills or living expenses.  There are also resources out there to help with transportation, lodging, house cleaning, clothing, utilities, food, and other necessities.  Even if you think that you may not qualify, it doesn’t hurt to apply. Searching on Google can be a very useful tool to find financial assistance programs. 

 

Remember that you are not alone.  Getting assistance from your support network, professionals, and other resources can help you build a foundation for a healthy financial future.

 

Please note that this information is designed to provide general information on the topics presented. It is provided with the understanding that the experts are not engaged in rendering any legal or professional services by its publication. The information provided should not be used as a substitute for professional services.

 

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If you have a story that you would like to share and post on our CML blog, please email cmlblog@lls.org with your name and a short description of your experience.

On December 10, a front-page article in The New York Times, highlighted findings from a clinical trial in which nine of twelve leukemia patients who received infusions of their own genetically engineered T cells responded to the therapy and are now cancer-free. The work, which was conducted by a team from University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was funded, in large part, by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  LLS has played a vital role in advancing this critical work, led by Carl June, MD, of UPENN and his team, with an investment totaling more than $21 million.

 

The innovative therapy involves extracting white blood cells from the patients and then reprogramming them, using a disabled form of the AIDS virus, to specifically target the leukemia cells. The reengineered blood cells were then reinfused back into the patients. The adult patients treated had chronic lymphocytic leukemia, while two children, including a 7- year--old girl from western Pennsylvania, had acute lymphocytic leukemia. The 7-year-old, among those who remain in remission following the treatment, was the focus of The New York Times article as well as other major news coverage.

 

A Letter to The Editor from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society appears in today’s The New York Times in response to the news coverage, and the need to push for regulatory reform to ensure that patients ultimately have access to these kinds of cutting-edge lifesaving treatments.

kriegell

This Season Help Find a Cure

Posted by kriegell Dec 12, 2012

Art_Janie.jpgLast week we shared a story about 23-year-old Suleika Jaouad and how her myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) had morphed into an acute form of leukemia. Your dollars are supporting the research that's developing promising new treatments for this form of blood cancer.

 

Someday, we want to stop MDS from ever progressing to leukemia which is why we're partnering with Onconova Therapeutics on a new therapy called Rigosertib, designed to stop MDS in its tracks.

 

If Rigosertib is approved, patients like Art Villarreal, who was diagnosed last year and is now facing a bone marrow transplant, won't have to worry that the disease will progress to acute leukemia or even need a transplant. And the availability of a life-saving treatment will change Art's life and thousands of other lives, forever.

 

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) partnership with Onconova is a product of the Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP), an LLS initiative that gets promising therapies to patients, more quickly. This holiday season, please help patients like Suleika and Art and LLS programs like TAP.

 

They're saving lives because with your help, someday is today.

 

Thank you,

 

John E. Walter

President & CEO

kriegell

Partnering For Cures

Posted by kriegell Dec 11, 2012

Lou.jpgThe 4th annual Partnering For Cures was a two-day meeting held in New York City November 29-30, hosted by FasterCures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating medical breakthroughs. More than 800 leaders in science and medicine from across all sectors of medical research - nonprofits, government agencies, research institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies – gathered to discuss ways to facilitate collaboration and solutions-sharing needed to speed up the time it takes to turn discoveries into therapies. Among its goals is to identify partnership opportunities that will advance outcomes‐driven medical research.

 

Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D, LLS’s chief mission officer, moderated a panel on Friday, Nov. 30, entitled: “Tech Transfer 2.0: Innovation in university commercialization.” The biomedical research and development landscape is growing increasingly complex, and the traditional university model of advancing promising basic scientific research is struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of change. The panel addressed the need for creative approaches to collaboration to help universities bridge the gap from academic research to drug development.

 

Later in the program, Dr. DeGennaro presented on LLS’s Therapy Acceleration Program, a strategic initiative to identify sponsored research discoveries, implement creative development strategies and form corporate partnerships to advance them in the clinic.

 

“The Partnering For Cures meeting featured two dynamic days of sharing innovative ideas and offered many opportunities to forge new collaborations, all with the goal of bringing critical therapies more quickly to patients who need them,” Dr. DeGennaro said. 

Carl June, MD, University of Pennsylvania, and his colleagues, will present the findings of a clinical trial today in which nine of twelve leukemia patients who received infusions of their own genetically engineered T cells responded to the therapy and several of them remain cancer-free. The breakthrough therapy was advanced, in large part, by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). LLS has invested more than $16 million in this work. LLS has funded Dr. June in various capacities since 1998 (and we just awarded him a new 5-year $6.25 million grant which will bring our investment to $21 million); other members of his team began receiving LLS funding as far back as 1992. Bloomberg News reported on this study today and credits LLS with funding the work.  Further, UPENN credits LLS funding with playing a significant role in the partnership announced between UPENN and Novartis this summer to advance this work.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) was quoted in a front-page article of today’s The Wall Street Journal entitled “Fiscal Talks Spur Charitable Giving.”

 

The article focuses on how talks in Washington about how to address the fiscal cliff are causing uncertainty about how charitable giving will be impacted. At the center of the debate is what may become of the tax deduction for charitable gifts.

 

LLS is cited as follows:

 

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society said its fundraisers are armed with relevant information on potential tax changes when they make calls. Given the uncertainty, said donor development director Michael Osso, "We’re more determined than ever to help them understand the benefits of giving right now."

LouisDeGennaro_IOM_Workshop.jpgAs we reported earlier, Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS Chief Mission Officer, was recently appointed to two prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) boards. These boards - National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Advisory Council, and the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) Review Board were created in response to the frustratingly slow pace of drug development.

 

This past spring Dr. DeGennaro co-chaired an Institute of Medicine workshop entitled: Forum on Drug Discovery, Development and Translation, took place in Washington, DC, to explore ways to maximize CAN’s impact on advancing therapies. The workshop’s findings are now summarized in a new booklet, “Accelerating the Development of New Drugs and Diagnostics: Maximizing The Impact of the Cures Acceleration Network.”

 

The book describes Dr. DeGennaro’s presentation about the importance of public-private partnerships in driving the translation of science into treatments. He also emphasized the importance of prioritizing projects by the level of unmet medical need.

 

Further, Dr. DeGennaro described LLS’s Therapy Acceleration Program, designed to bridge the gap delaying academic research from advancing through the drug development pipeline.

 

“One of our key goals is to partner with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to get the projects through key hurdles,” Dr. DeGennaro said. “At that point the companies can approach the capital market to raise additional dollars or partner with another company to continue the project.“

 

And finally Dr. DeGennaro discussed two LLS partnerships: one with the biotechnology company Celator, to support a clinical trial for a drug for patients with acute myeloid leukemia; the other between LLS, NIH and the University of Kansas to repurpose existing drugs to treat blood cancers.

 

In concluding the workshop, NIH’s Katherine Hudson stated: “The status quo is not acceptable. We are infusing that into the brains and the hearts of everybody who works with us. The question is now whether or not we can deliver on showing that CAN can cut through red tape, create culture change, and create new tools and new processes that will make a demonstrable difference.”

 

This booklet will soon be available at http://www.iom.edu/Reports.aspx

Spirit of Hope.jpgStanford University School of Medicine has presented John Walter, CEO of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), with the 2012 Spirit of Hope Award for Outstanding Health Care Organization in recognition of LLS’s 35 years of funding support to Stanford’s researchers.

 

In the last 15 years alone, LLS has awarded more than $27 million in research grants to Stanford University investigators, who are at the forefront of discovering innovative diagnostics and treatments.

 

The event was hosted by one of Stanford’s esteemed researchers, Beverly Mitchell, MD, director of Stanford Cancer Institute, who has made many significant contributions to LLS over the years. Dr. Mitchell currently leads an LLS Specialized Center of Research (SCOR), a program that funds teams of researchers representing different disciplines who are engaged in collaborative efforts to discover new approaches to treat patients with hematological malignancies.

 

Among their many cutting-edge projects, the team is testing a new targeted drug for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), with a long-term goal of preventing the disease from advancing to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). This same drug is being advanced in clinical trials by Onconova Therapeutics Inc., a partner in LLS’s Therapy Acceleration Program, a strategic initiative to form corporate partnerships to advance sponsored research in the clinic.

 

Dr. Mitchell also served as a as a past chair of LLS’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee and was a member of its national Board of Directors.

 

“It is truly a great honor for LLS to be recognized by a world-class research institution such as Stanford,” Walter said. “For more than 35 years we have shared a commitment to advancing outstanding cancer research and transforming the most promising discoveries into treatments to help patients live better, longer lives.”

 

Photo: LLS CEO John Walter Addresses the Audience at Stanford Before Accepting Award as Beverly Mitchell, MD, Stanford, looks on.

RFP.jpgThe Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has issued new requests for proposals from researchers in six critical areas of unmet medical need. The RFPs mark LLS’s aggressive and proactive approach to addressing the challenge of improving outcomes for cancer patients with particularly urgent needs.  LLS aims to stimulate more academic research in these areas. New immunotherapeutics for patients with acute myelogenous leukemia;

 

  • Novel therapeutics for patients with non-cutaneous T-cell malignancies;
  • Introduction of novel agents in the treatment of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma;
  • Therapies for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) who have failed hypomethylating agents;
  • Therapies for new targets such as bromodomains, methylation and other epigenetic approaches for patients with high-risk myeloma;
  • Research that addresses long-term and late effects of blood cancer therapies.

 

Upon reviewing responses to these requests, LLS will award grants under its Translational Research Program, an initiative designed to help accelerate the movement of promising discoveries from the lab to the clinic. Each grant will be for a three-year duration with a total value of up to $600,000.

Suleika Jaouad.jpgLLS's research partnerships continue to hasten the advance of breakthrough therapies. Meet a patient with a disease that's the focus of one of those projects.

 

Suleika Jaouad is a 23-year-old woman from Saratoga Springs, NY. She's been chronicling her cancer experience in the science section of The New York Times. "Having a life-threatening disease in your 20s defies our definition of what ought to be," writes Suleika.

 

Nearly two years ago, armed with a Princeton degree and a job offer in Paris, she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS); a disorder that morphed into acute myeloid leukemia, a blood cancer that is stubborn to today's therapies. Suleika's disease progression is precisely what we are addressing in our Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP) and need your help to continue.

 

In a pivitol phase 3 clinical trial, we're testing a new targeted therapy to keep MDS from advancing to the even more threatening leukemia she now has.

 

Results of the trial have been so encouraging that with your donations, we accelerated the trial by a full year attracting additional support from a pharmaceutical company.

 

This is the goal of TAP - speeding the development of promising ideas to attract commercial investment and getting therapies to patients not someday, but today.

 

Advanced phase trials are costly but you can help make them accessible to the 1,012,533 patients affected by a blood cancer with a donation at www.lls.org/yearendgiving

 

Thank you,

 

John E. Walter

President & CEO

 

Donate Today!

research.jpgEach December more than 20,000 researchers and clinicians from around the world gather at the annual meeting of American Society of Hematology (ASH) to discuss their most critical findings in the study of new and improved therapies for blood cancer patients. 

 

In conjunction with this year’s conference in Atlanta, GA., The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) will host a free education symposium on December 7, entitled “Cellular Metabolism in Hematologic Malignancies: From Evolving Science to Therapeutic Potential.” The program is designed to help hematologists, oncologists and other healthcare professionals enhance their understanding of cellular metabolism and its implications in treating blood cancer patients.

 

For more than 80 years researchers have recognized that cancer cells exhibit higher than normal glycolysis – converting glucose  to lactic acid – but it has only been in the past decade that the reprogramming of cellular metabolism has regained attention for its role in cancer. The symposium presenters will discuss how this metabolic reprogramming contributes to tumor transformation and sustains progression in blood cancer cells, and how these metabolic changes and the genes that control cell metabolism may be potential targets for therapy. After an introduction by Richard C. Winneker, Ph.D, LLS senior vice president of research, the following researchers will discuss their work in this area:

 

Chi V. Dang, M.D., Ph.D, University of Pennsylvania, “Introduction and Overview: Metabolic Targets in Leukemia & Lymphoma”

Jeffrey C. Rathmell, Ph.D., Duke University, “Metabolism and Apoptotic Pathways in Leukemia”

Mariusz A. Wasik, M.D., University of Pennsylvania, “mTOR Links Cell Signaling and Metabolism”

Ayalew Tefferi, M.D., Mayo Clinic, “Genetic and Metabolic Alterations in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms and AML”

John L. Cleveland, Ph.D., Scripps Research Institute, “Targeting Autophagy in Hematologic Malignancies”

 

To learn more about this program or to register please visit here.

kriegell

It’s the time of year again

Posted by kriegell Nov 29, 2012

This is the time of year that brings to mind charity to others. And The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) shares that mindset.

 

We continue to set our sights on someday, when breakthrough treatments will be able to save the lives of all blood cancer patients.

 

Today, LLS partnerships with companies like Celator Pharmaceuticals are helping accelerate the development of therapies. Celator is conducting clinical trials with a new therapy (CPX-351) to treat patients with secondary acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

 

CPX-351 is two drugs packaged in a way to ensure that the most effective ratio gets directly to the leukemia cells. Encouraging results from a Phase 2 trial of secondary AML patients led to LLS's decision to support the current Phase 3 trial. And we need supporters like you to help continue it.

 

Partnerships like this will deliver treatments for the estimated 1,012,533 people in the US living with a blood cancer. Which is why we would like to honor every person with a donation.

 

LLS supporters understand how the impact of their generosity brings us closer to cures; cures that are here, not someday, but today.

 

There are 1,012,533 patients. Donate in honor of one now.

 

Thank you,

 

John E. Walter

President & CEO

kriegell

Advocating for Rare Diseases

Posted by kriegell Nov 28, 2012

Mark photo.jpgCongratulations to LLS Senior Director of Legislative Affairs Emily K. Shetty, who was recently recognized for work she did on Capitol Hill prior to joining LLS. 

 

Emily was awarded the Abbey Rare Voice Award, named after Abbey Meyers, the patient-advocate who spearheaded the passage of the Orphan Drug Act years ago. While working as Legislative Director, Office of Representative Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Emily took on a leadership role to ensure that rare disease provisions were included in the latest Food and Drug Administration reform bill. Emily worked to strengthen the FDA accelerated approval pathway making it more accessible for treatments and cures for rare diseases.

 

Now that she is on-staff with LLS’s Office of Public Policy, Emily is building on her efforts on the Hill by trying to move policies that reduce barriers that patients face trying to get access to current treatments, while incentivizing the development of new treatments and cures.

 

LLS’s advocacy team represents the needs of cancer patients and their families in Washington, D.C. and state capitals throughout the United States. We need your help. Be an advocate for LLS and make your voice heard.

 

Photo: Emily Shetty and Mark Velleca, LLS Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer

kriegell

On borrowed time…

Posted by kriegell Nov 16, 2012

My journey began March 2001. My employer was having a blood drive. Since I am O+, I would always try to donate. This time was a little different. I got a phone call from the CIRBC (Central Indiana Regional Blood Center), informing me that I needed to pay them a visit, since my blood counts were kind of ‘hinky.’ In the fast-paced world we all live in, I just didn’t have time. I was in the middle of a building project. They stressed to me it was imperative. So I went to the blood center, they drew more blood and I sat and waited….and waited. The head of the CIRBC, the head of donations and a doctor asked me to step into a seemingly, very small exam room. You could hear a pin drop. Why hadn’t I brought my husband with me? They were emphatic that I needed to go to my doctor and have blood work run. Needless to say, I followed their instructions and, within a week, I was told I had an emergency appointment with an oncologist/hematologist by the name of Dr. Laurence Bates. My husband, Jim and I were trying to prep ourselves….for what, we were not sure. The diagnosis---Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), with the Philadelphia chromosome. This was April 4, 2001, and while Dr. Bates was optimistic of an early catch, 5 years was my life expectancy. Other people diagnosed before me died entirely too soon.

 

Dr. Bates did tell us of a new drug, STI-571, that was being approved and announced----the very next day. He thought that I would be a good candidate: however, we needed to get my spleen size decreased and all the other blood counts to their appropriate levels. In July, my husband and I visited Dr. Jan Jansen, a bone marrow transplant doctor at St. Francis Hospital. After much discussion between Jim and I, we decided I would start out with STI-571, better known as Gleevec®, with transplant as a backup. I started Gleevec in July 2001. August 19, 2001 is considered my clinical hematological remission date—that’s right—11 years ago! I am lucky to have a great hematologist with foresight, good insurance and much borrowed time (which I do not take for granted). I am still on the same dosage—400mg a day.

 

This diagnosis has not prevented other difficult things from happening. For me, it was when my husband of 15 years (20 together) left me. My entire world was shattered. The support I was counting on was gone. This event changed the way I thought about my diagnosis. Before he left, I wasn’t really scared when I heard my diagnosis because Jim was there. Once he left, it dawned on me “I am sick, I have cancer.” That was, and remains, a very traumatic moment.

 

I have learned a few things about side effects, and I must admit I only suffer from one. That one is, if I haven’t eaten, and I take the drug, I will get sick to my stomach. So my way around that is, since I am terrible about eating breakfast, I take it at night. This leads me to survivors’ guilt. I wasn’t supposed to live more than 5 years. Some patients now can’t tolerate Gleevec or there is no change in their blood work. So far, 6 extra years, virtually no side effects, no hair loss, no traditional chemo (I take 1 pill once a day)…. Why did/does it work for me, but not others?

 

I have occasionally missed a dose of Gleevec, but not in a long time. It happened more when I was transitioning from taking it in the a.m. with breakfast (Jim always made breakfast) to taking it in the p.m. I was absolutely nervous about what might happen if I didn’t take my medication. I was so worried that my next hematologist visit would show high WBC (white blood cell count), and the disease getting worse. I was scared to forget, so now, before I lay down at night, I get a glass of water and take the pill. It has become quite automatic.

 

Many other things have happened in this time period. I got involved with Team in Training by starting out as a Patient Honoree in 2003 for the Lake Tahoe cycle team. It looked like so much fun. I fundraised and trained with the team and ended up riding about ½ of the final miles. Later that year, I rode a full century in West Palm Beach. Through the years, I have trained, fundraised and completed a couple of marathons and triathlons. I became the first survivor in Indiana to be a Triple Crowner! (A Triple Crown includes a Century bike ride [100 miles, yes in one day], an Olympic triathlon [1.5k open water swim, 40k bike ride and 10k run] and a 26.2 or 13.1 marathon.) I have been lucky to be asked to speak to local legislators, but also to those in DC, on behalf of LLS and blood-cancer patients everywhere. I believe in giving a voice to those who don’t have one and holding legislators accountable. I have also shared my story, formally and informally, many times. I hope it brings some hope to those listening.

 

I am going to the hematologist tomorrow. My stomach is starting to get a little upset. I am always scared until Dr. Bates gives me a hug and the blood work results. Then I am okay….until next time.

 

- Penny Pace-Cannon

 

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If you have a story that you would like to share and post on our CML blog, please email cmlblog@lls.org with your name and a short description of your experience.

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