One of the reasons I feel so passionate about LLS and their mission is that they aren’t just fierce about finding a cure, fast – they advocate for patients and their short and long-term quality of life.  This was a particular area of concern for my mother, who was finishing her clinical psychology post-graduate studies at the time of her passing.  True to form, even while in treatment she tirelessly worked on research and reviewed countless publications in her field on post-traumatic stress, serious illness and families.  Truly selfless, she worried about the effects of her cancer not just on her, but our family and everyone in her life.

LLS does so much to support and fund patients and their families throughout their entire process:

1. Education and Support.  LLS provides patient support from their first point of diagnosis through treatment and into survivorship. Healthcare educators at the call-in center counsel patients on their specific disease and what to do next, and offer information on clinical trials, increasing access to new therapies that are often patients’ best chance for a cure.  Through local chapters, we offer peer-to-peer support that links newly diagnosed patients and families with trained, empathetic survivors through the Patti Robinson Kaufmann First Connection Program.

2. Financial Assistance.  LLS Financial Assistance programs help ease the financial burden of a blood cancer diagnosis. Over the past five years, we have dispersed more than $28.5 million in Patient Financial Aid, and more than $100 million in co-pay assistance.

3. Political Advocacy.  LLS advocates are active in addressing issues of importance to blood cancer patients. Volunteers have successfully pushed legislation in many states that require insurers to continue routine health care coverage while patients are in clinical trials. LLS advocates are also encouraging insurance parity so that oral drugs, which are typically covered under the “pharmacy benefit” of many health insurance policies, are covered the same as the more generous “medical benefit” for injected drugs.

As someone affected by this experience, I cannot express how important it is to have the level of support that LLS provides.  Please consider a donation today!