Friday, July 19, 2013

let's talk about leukemia

With AIDS Walk just days away, I'm sure you wouldn't expect for me to talk about another fundraising walk, but today I not only want to mention it, I also want to talk generally about leukemia.  Earlier this year my mother died, and while leukemia was not her direct cause of death, she had been living with it for years and it did lead to a weakened system.  Because of Mom's leukemia, I became more aware of the disease a few years ago.
 
Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow, the soft tissue in the center of the bones, where blood cells are produced. White blood cells (leukocytes) are used by the body to fight off infections and other foreign substances and a person with leukemia may have a weakened immune system and be unable to fight off a simple infection.  There are different types of leukemia and I couldn't give all of the answers here in this little space.  Actually nobody has all the answers.  That is why awareness is so important.
 
Last year I participated in Light the Night Walk for the first time, and last night I signed up to do it again this year.  That's why today seem like a good time to mention it here.  Leukemia is a treatable (bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone treatments) disease and the rate of cure depends on the type of leukemia as well as the patient's age. Participation in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk funds therapies and treatment advances which help to save lives.

The San Francisco walk is in September and you can come out and walk or you can sponsor me or another walker or simply make a general donation.  You can also look for walks that may be closer to where you live.  Go to http://www.lightthenight.org/ to find out more!

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