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Below isthe fact sheet Rush used during Friday’s Cure-A-Thon broadcast.These are the details of the progress that’s been made in the fight against blood cancers, so that you can seethe results of all your generous contributions.

ABOUT THE LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA SOCIETY:

This is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services. The work of The Society is international, funding research at home and abroad.


THE MISSION:
To cure the blood cancers Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease, and Myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The fight is on for 740,000 patients and their families living with these diseases today, as well as 110,000 newly diagnosed patients every year. Duringone broadcast, 18 people will die of one of these cancers.

• Leukemia is the #1 cancer killer of children under the age of 20, and the most common form of childhood leukemia has an overall survival rate today of 87% — up 1% since our last Cure-A-Thon.

• Lymphoma is diagnosed in 63,000 Americans every year, and 20,000 succumb to the disease. The 5 year survival rate has risen from 47% in 1974 to 63% today (that’s up 3% since last year). And for children, that survival rate is up to an amazing 96%.

• Hodgkin’s Disease is considered one of the most curable forms of blood cancer today. The 5 year survival rate is now 85% — and even higher for those under 20.

• Myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells) currently afflicts 55,000 Americans, with 15,000 new patients diagnosed every year. This disease rarely strikes those under the age of 50 and the 5 year survival rate is only 32%; it’s especially deadly for African Americans and those of European descent.

THE BATTLE:

Fiveyear survival and cure rates for these diseases have improved markedly since the 1970s. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s research has produced quick results. Dr. Brian Druker — one of the first Society funded researchers — was responsible for the breakthrough drug Gleevec. This drug has helped turn certain cancers that might have been fatal into chronic conditions for many patients, and has been approved for the treatment ofthree other cancers. Furthermore, clinical studies at the UCLA School of Medicine on agents resistant to Gleevec show tremendous promise.

As you can see, research by the Society has applications beyond blood cancers. Remember Bone marrow transplants? Those were pioneered by Society researchers. This year, The Society will commit $58 million to research alone. (By the way, bone marrow transplants are, in fact, adult stem cell transplants. You’ve been supporting the only stem cell therapy to date that not only shows promise, but has worked!)

And on the adult stem cell front, The Society is funding research led by Dr. Robert Collins that works to prevent a deadly complication that occurs when “non-identical” stem cells from a person other than the patient are used. Your generosity has made that testing possible, and it will start soon — could be another big breakthrough thanks to you.

When you donate to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, nearly 75% of the money goes directly to research, patients, and support services. Folks, I know these people at The Society. They’re some of the finest, most committed people I’ve ever met — most them touched in some way by these cancers. Their friends, their family — even themselves — have been hit by these potential killers and that’s what spurs the work they do.

And I have to say, it’s been an exciting time to be a part of all this. We reflect on this every year; all the hard work and dedication along with your generosity has really started producing results. As it turns out, many of the breakthroughs we’re starting to see today began about the time we became a part of this fight 17 years ago, and your donations led to these advances. So much progress has happened — and the cure gets closer every day.

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