Oct 072010


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Bonnie Gladish, Co-founder and fellow members of Working Women Connection, had a vision of an event to raise money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Not knowing what this vision was or would become they embraced it with the passion that they give toward the WWC, their business, and personal lives.  These diseases have touched the lives of so many, which includes their very own members. 

Three people will be honored at this event; Marilyn Cameron, Lymphoma survivor and mother of our founder, Bonnie Gladish, Scott Nairn, the son of Betty Nairn, member of WWC’s Fairlawn Team and brother of Jessica Nairn, operations manager for WWC (we are saddened to say that Scott passed away in 2003 from Leukemia); and lastly, Joy Wright, Leukemia survivor and member of the Medina Team of WWC. 

Please take time to read a bit about LLS and they hope to see you at an Evening to Remember. 

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) was born out of a family’s grief following the death of their teenage son. Robert Roesler de Villiers, son of a well-to-do New York family, was only 16 when he quickly succumbed to leukemia in 1944. Five years later, frustrated by the lack of effective treatments for what was then considered a hopeless disease, parents Rudolph and Antoinette de Villiers started a fundraising and education organization in their son’s name.

Headquartered in a small Wall Street office, the Robert Roesler de Villiers Foundation had only a few volunteers and a tiny budget. The task was daunting. Most leukemia patients, especially children, died within three months. Even by the mid-1950s, when the first generation chemotherapy drugs began appearing, the disease remained a stubborn challenge. The Foundation reported in its 1955 annual report: “As of this date, Leukemia is 100% fatal. This is almost a unique situation among the many diseases to which man is susceptible.”

Driven by the de Villiers’ nearly boundless belief that leukemia and other blood cancers were indeed curable, the Foundation grew steadily, opening its first chapters in the New York City area. The organization, after changing its name to The Leukemia Society, was renamed The Leukemia Society of America in the 1960s to communicate a broad, national reach.

21st Century Growth

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which changed its name from the Leukemia Society of America in 2000 to reflect its commitment to curing all blood cancers, is proud to be playing a major role in the fight against leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Since that time LLS has been developing new initiatives that have strengthened the organization’s role as the leading private funder of blood cancer research and provider of programs for patients and their families.

With the help of major fundraising campaigns, including Team In Training, the world’s largest endurance sports training program, and Light The Night Walk, LLS has awarded more than $600 million in research funding since the first funding in 1954.

The commitment to cutting-edge science has contributed to an unprecedented rise in survival rates for some blood cancers. The relative five-year survival rate for people with leukemia, for example, nearly quadrupled in the past 48 years. Hodgkin lymphoma is now considered one of the most curable forms of cancer, thanks to radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of the two.

A triumvirate of new research programs is already creating tomorrow’s treatments and perhaps laying the groundwork for the ultimate cures.

Through its many chapters nationwide and in Canada, LLS offers a wide variety of educational and patient services. They include First Connection, which links newly diagnosed patients to a peer volunteer who has experienced a similar diagnosis; Meet the Expert on Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Meet the Doctor programs; teleconferences and Webcasts; support groups; information on the latest clinical trials and treatments; patient financial aid; workshops that address survivorship issues; and an award-winning Web site (www.LLS.org).

With its popular Information Resource Center, LLS connects patients, families and caregivers to oncology nurses and social workers. In 2008, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society made 6.3 million contacts with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals, helping people find lifesaving and supportive information through every phase of their illness.

*Article from Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website www.lls.org

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