Last Friday I had the pleasure to meet with Meg Harrison, the Patient Services manager at the New York LLS Office.
She was very nice taking some of her precious time to walk me through several services and supporting options that the LLS provides to blood cancer patients and their families.
LLS is a nonprofit organization that relies on the generosity of individual and corporate contributions (like yours and mine) to advance its mission.
Meg explained that the LLS Patient Care is a first stop place for patients and their families to receive information and support. The LLS staff is there to help and they are up to speed to getting newly diagnosed patients receiving important information about the disease and treatment options.
In addition, they connect patients with individual peers that were trained by the institution. LLS also organizes family support groups guided by oncology health professionals.
And for those in financial need, LLS has the Patient Financial Aid Program and Co-Pay Assistance Program, which provides basic assistance. Upon that, LLS can channel patients with greater needs to the right institutions for additional support.
Did you know that specialist have identified more than 100 types of blood cancer? And that by researching them, they are able to develop specific treatments with higher rates of success?
LLS plays a great role, supporting research through a series of programs, like:
i) The Research Grant Program, that provides funding to support scientific studies at academic centers
ii) The Translational Research Program that supports outstanding investigations that are most likely to translate basic biomedical discoveries into new, safe and effective treatments.
Among several LLS’ achievements, Meg highlighted:
i) the development and approval by the FDA of the Gleevec, a revolutionary drug for chronic myeloid leukemia. I was surprised to learn that since Leukemia, Lymphoma and other (rare) blood cancer types don’t attract much funding from large pharma companies, LLS ends up having a key role in supporting research and development funded by donations of people like you and me.
ii) LLS successfully championed the oral chemotherapy access bill with the State of New York and had Governor Andrew Cuomo signing the bill into law. The new law requires oral chemotherapies to be covered at a cost equal to intravenously-delivered chemotherapies, which increases patient access to affordable oral chemotherapies.
If you would like to learn more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, please visit http://www.lls.org.
If you would like to get involved, volunteer and be an LLS advocate, please visit http://www.lls.org/waystohelp/advocate/.
Have a great weekend!