LLS Services for Caregivers of Blood Cancer Patients
I remember one morning when I was in fifth grade the teacher told us that the brother of one of my classmates, Jodie, had died. That’s why my friend Jodie was a little late and teary-eyed when she arrived that day. Jodie’s brother was just 13 years old when he died from leukemia.
Back then, I had never heard of that disease. I had not heard of someone only 13 years old dying of a disease. But, since then, I have heard of it too many times.
An elderly cousin of my mother died of leukemia too, and I remember visiting her in the hospital when there was no cure for her possible. Later, in the 90’s, I recall a little girl from church, Kira, who battled leukemia throughout her childhood, and finally came to remission when she was about twelve years old. Thankfully, there has been remarkable progress in the treatment of leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers over the years, including the LLS services for caregivers.
Those people from my memories are the main reasons I have been a neighborhood volunteer for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society during August and September for the last few years. September is Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness month, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has been the leader in research and treatment of these types of cancers. Each summer, The Society calls me and asks me to help them obtain donations from my neighbors, then sends me a packet of information and envelopes to help me approach my neighbors and friends about making a donation to the Society. I certainly do not raise much money for the Society, but I have tried to a do just a little bit in my own neighborhood. The Society kindly follows up with phone calls, emails and a letter thanking me for my efforts, which I admit are small compared to the great need for research funds, and the needs of the patients.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society offers many important LLS services for caregivers of those who have been diagnosed with a blood cancer. The Patti Robinson Kaufmann First Connection Program is a telephone support program that links you with a trained peer volunteer who has experienced a similar situation. Any patient with a blood-related cancer or their caregiver is eligible to receive a call or visit. There is no charge for this program. The Society offers online discussion boards where you can meet caregivers and patients to share thoughts and experiences.
Chapters of LLS offer family support groups led by nurses or social workers in many areas of the country.
The website of the LLS (www.lls.org) is a great source of information on blood cancer diseases and treatment options with feeds, podcasts, enewsletters and free materials, as well as information specialists who can help you find the information you and the patient need. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) offers many helpful services to caregivers and patients that are just click or a phone call away at (800) 955-4572.
This September, consider making a donation to LLS in memory of those you have known who have died, to help those who are fighting blood cancer, and to honor those who have experienced a remission or cure. Someday is Today!