The official e-Newsletter of the Leukemia Research Foundation.
Dedicated to conquering all blood cancers by funding research into their causes and cures, and enriching the quality of life of those touched by these diseases.
Thank You for Your Support of Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Thanks to everyone who supported the Leukemia Research Foundation during #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth in September. Designated by the United States Congress in 2010, Blood Cancer Awareness Month is a time when the Leukemia Research Foundation uses social media, emails and other means to raise awareness of blood cancers, which are diagnosed every three minutes in the United States.
Click here to see highlights of our postings during September or better yet, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn to see our posts. While you are there, make sure to follow us to stay up to date on research successes, events, patient education programs and more! Thanks also to Adaptive Biotechnologies and Astellas for supporting the campaign.
RESEARCH UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Maria E. Figueroa, M.D.
Researcher Earns Additional Support
Maria E. Figueroa, M.D., associate professor, co-leader of the Cancer Epigenetics Research Program at the University of Miami, earned a share of $1.4 million in research grant funding for her research project titled The role of age-related reprogramming of KLF6 in HSC dysfunction and myeloid malignancies. The funding was awarded by the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation.
One of the objectives for the Leukemia Research Foundation in supporting New Investigators is for those individuals to advance their research careers and, as a result, earn continued support in larger amounts from other funders. Doctor Figueroa was funded by the Leukemia Research Foundation in 2012. Read more here.
Darrin M. Beaupre, M.D., Ph.D.
Advancing Blood Cancer Science
Darrin M. Beaupre, M.D., Ph.D. is the senior vice president, head of Early Oncology Development and Clinical Research at Pfizer. His work involves advancing blood cancer research from the laboratory to application in human clinical trials. Learn more about Dr. Beaupre’s work here.
Doctor Beaupre’s research was funded by the Leukemia Research Foundation in 2005.
PROGRAMS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Blood Cancer Education for Spanish-Speaking Patients
Sign up now for The Ultimate in Blood Cancer: What You Need to Know in Order to Face Blood Cancer on Saturday, October 5 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the Harrison Park Fieldhouse, 1824 S Wood Street, Senior Room, in Chicago. This patient education program will be conducted entirely in Spanish and features medical experts providing information on blood cancers and answering questions from patients and family members.
Save the Date: Town Hall Meeting
The Leukemia Research Foundation will host its Annual Town Hall Meeting on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at the Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore, 5300 W. Touhy Avenue in Skokie, Illinois. The Town Hall Meeting is an educational program featuring a panel of medical professionals who provide patients and their families with answers to questions about all blood cancers. Program admission is free. More information is available here.
EVENTS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Larry Mix (left) presents gavel to incoming Board President Blake Brandwein
73rd Annual Medical Awards Luncheon
Patrick Stiff, M.D., director of the Division of Hematology & Oncology at Loyola Medicine and chairman of the Leukemia Research Foundation Medical Advisory Board formally accepted the $1.2 million in research grants on behalf of the selected scientists. In addition, Dr. Stiff updated the audience on the CAR T-Cell clinical trial at Loyola Medicine that was supported by a $250,000 lead gift from the Leukemia Research Foundation in August 2018. Watch Dr. Stiff’s comments here.
After four years of service to the Foundation as Board President, Larry Mix passed the gavel to Blake Brandwein, president of the Penny’s Angels Chapter of the Foundation and a 20-year volunteer. Larry is a 23-year volunteer and president of the Joey’s Angels Chapter of the Foundation.
Marcia Brin has been an active supporter and volunteer since 1978 and was presented with the Star Award, recognizing her commitment, dedication, and leadership. Marcia has guided the Donald Davidson-Alan Brin Memorial Chapter in raising more than $9.5 million for the cause.
Click here to see photos from the event.
2nd Annual Punching Out Blood Cancers
The 2nd Annual Punching Out Blood Cancers event was held at Joe’s on Weed Street in Chicago. More than 150 people attended this signature event of the Affiliate Board of the Leukemia Research Foundation. Attendees took part in raffles and enjoyed food and cocktails, while raising more than $11,000 to support the mission of the Leukemia Research Foundation.
The Affiliate Board is made up of millennials empowering the Leukemia Research Foundation through fundraising and serving as ambassadors in the community. To learn more about the Affiliate Board of the Leukemia Research Foundation contact Arleen at 847.424.0600 or email arleen@LRFmail.org.
18th Angels in the Fairway a Great Success
Hundreds of golfers and guests enjoyed 18 holes, reception, dinner and more at the 18th Angels in the Fairway Golf Outing at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in early August. The event generated $148,000 for the Joey’s Angels Chapter of the Leukemia Research Foundation.
Established in memory of Joey Mix, who passed away from leukemia in 1996, Angels in the Fairway has generated nearly $2.6 million in support of the Foundation’s mission. Special thanks to F.H. Paschen and all of the golfers and guests, sponsors, volunteers and donors who have made this event so successful.
What events led to your diagnosis?
"I was being treated for some other health issues when doctors told me that I was anemic and I should look into it with my primary doctor. After many months of dealing with fatigue and other symptoms I finally had enough and asked for a referral, which led to blood tests and my diagnosis in 2014. I was actually diagnosed with B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (B-NHL) as my primary blood cancer and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) with a 5Q deletion as a secondary condition. I was treated for the lymphoma first and went into remission within a year but then the MDS became active. I started treatment for the MDS in early 2016."
How did you become aware of Leukemia Research Foundation Patient Education Programs?
"My primary doctor had information on the Town Hall Meeting on one of his counters. It took me some time to decide to participate. When I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t go to anything – maybe due to depression or something. Once I was more comfortable with my diagnosis and my treatment, I started going to educational programs and the first time I went, I found that my hematologist was on the panel."
Do you find the Patient Education Programs helpful?
"I’ve been going to the patient education programs since January of 2016. I’ve learned a lot from the doctors there. Very impressive people on the panels.
The programs are so affirming! When you hear information from some of the top doctors that confirms that the treatment direction you are going is logical or good or likely to be effective, it makes you as a patient feel more confident or relieved that you’re on the right track."
Any tips to share with others?
• "When you’re diagnosed, make sure to get a second opinion to be sure that your diagnosis is correct."
• "Find or build a support system to help keep your mood positive and stay informed. It helps to converse with others living with the same problem."
• "Take any opportunity, like those offered by the Leukemia Research Foundation, to become more educated on your disease and take others who are helping in your care to them too."