Sunday, September 9, 2012

Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Awareness Month

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By Nurse Diane

I will never forget the summer of 1976.  That was the year my family moved to a different city.  We were frequently moving since my father's job kept promoting him and with each promotion came a new location. I was always excited to move to a new place meet new people and start a new school, but this summer was different.  Shortly after we moved, my mother got a phone call.  My grandfather was in the hospital, he had been diagnosed with Leukemia.  My mother left to be by his side, and to help my grandmother.  We, my brother, father and I were left at home to fend for ourselves.  I was a young girl at the time, and didn't really understand what was going on.  My grandfather was a very strong man.  He had served in 2 wars, and was a full time employee of the National Guard.  He was a very strict military man, and nothing could bring him down.  But my grandfather had never met cancer before.  Luckily, he did not suffer long with his illness. His death was fast and unexpected.  He outlived his mother, but passed away before seeing his youngest daughter get married.  He had a full military funeral, with a flag over his casket, bugles playing, and a 21 gun salute.  This was the first time I had experienced a death in my family, and it was all confusing. I wish I had more time to spend with him, to learn of his military career, and how he won the box full of medals that my father placed in a frame.
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September is Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Awareness Month.  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) was founded in 1949. Blood cancers affect more than 912,000 people with 140,000 new diagnoses each year.  Each year around 53,000 die from blood cancers.  The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has been dedicated to finding a cure for these diseases through voluntary contributions. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (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 and provides free information and support services.  Remarkable progress has been made in treating patients with blood cancers, with survival rates for many having doubled or tripled, and in some cases quadrupled.
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If you know someone who is suffering from these blood cancers, and would like to help in finding a cure, please visit this website for more information about ways you can help.

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