The Inspiration Initiative – Jessica Moran, 2016 Honored Hero

Please meet one of our Honored Heroes of the 2016 Boston Light The Night! This is Jessica Moran. She is a true inspiration. There isn’t much that I could write in this week’s blog about Jessica that she hasn’t already said, photographed and lived. Please go to her blog, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube and see just how strong, beautiful and amazing Ms. Moran is!

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Blog: https://inspirationinitiative.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inspirationinitiative
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessy_moran

 

And last but certainly not least…You must click on her YouTube and watch her videos!
This was specifically for an Applebee’s fundraiser…
https://youtu.be/0ttf1bRKgJk

 

Keep on moving forward Jessica and we at the Massachusetts Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society cannot wait to see you in Boston!!

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Significant Advance for Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients

SIGNIFICANT ADVANCE FOR HODGKIN LYMPHOMA PATIENTS
By Andrea Greif | May, 2016
See original article

The Food & Drug Administration’s accelerated approval of an immunotherapy for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma who have failed other treatments is a positive development for patients who face a very poor prognosis.

While Hodgkin lymphoma is now considered one of the most curable forms of cancer – with a more than 86 percent five-year survival rate overall – those patients who relapse after treatment have a much reduced chance of survival.

FDA’s approval of nivolumab (Opdivo®), marks the first approval of this particular approach to therapy for a blood cancer. Nivolumab has previously been approved, either as a single agent or as a combination therapy, for a number of solid tumor cancers, including several types of metastatic melanoma; metastatic non-small cell lung cancer; and renal cell carcinoma.

Nivolumab is among a class of drugs known as immune checkpoint inhibitors. The drug targets a protein called PD1 that prevents the immune system from doing its job. By inhibiting PD1, the immune system’s “brakes” are released harnessing body’s own ability to fight the cancer.

FDA based its approval on Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials that showed favorable overall response rates for these patients – 65 percent.

LLS has supported researchers whose work has shown that inhibiting these immune checkpoint proteins is an effective approach to therapy, and is currently funding several researchers investigating PD1 and PD-L1 inhibitors for other types of lymphomas, including B-cell follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

Happy Oncology Nursing Month!

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Please make sure you give an extra high five, hug and a big THANK YOU to all our Oncology nurses this month. They work so hard to help their patients fight and recover every day.

Life After for the ‘Lost Generation.’

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“You learn quickly that cancer is an inhospitable house guest: It shows up when you’re least prepared and leaves your place ransacked with no money for a maid.” – Andrew McMahon stated in his patient-advice column for the US News on October 26, 2015.

While we continue to improve treatments and lifespans of those touched by cancer, there is one “lost generation,” that continues to look for more outlets and more efficient treatment plans and therapies and even facilities to complete their journey after diagnosis. The adolescent and young adults are in quite the in between when it comes to these medical advances. Many times doctors and hospitals either place these patients in facilities with children much younger than themselves, or quite the opposite, in facilities with patients sometimes 20 years their senior. It makes for the process to be just that much more grueling on the young cancer fighter.

Many times people who are not directly affected by cancer(s), don’t see the exhausting journey a cancer patient and/or survivor must go through. The entire process can put a large toll on a person’s emotions, body, finances and even relationships, friends, families and significant others alike. Besides physical setbacks, such as feeling “older,” not having enough energy as you once did or even scars, or weight change, this generation can also be struck with financial burdens due to insufficient insurances/job benefits and even high student loans. Not only are we asking this youth to come out with a successful cancer eliminating procedure, but we are now pushing them into the real world with many other burdens placed on heavy shoulders.

Andrew McMahon, now in his early-thirties is a 10-year leukemia survivor and an influential singer-songwriter. Some would know him from former projects such as Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate or his recent solo project, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Through McMahon’s cancer treatment he was placed in a facility with others while beyond his own years. Getting the support and understanding therapy options that were offered around him didn’t connect to his youth and emotions he was feeling. The place in his life that he was currently experiencing was entirely different than the other patients around him. While going through his own treatments he could see how this “lost generation” needed a voice to advocate and show what was needed most, support.

McMahon has since started a  charitable foundation called Dear Jack Foundation (dearjackfoundation.com) that supports and advocates for the adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer.

amm_wilderness_bg2Andrew McMahon, photo shoot for his Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness project.

The best way to help is be an advocate for those who don’t have a voice. Be a support system for those who just need some assistant to get their voice heard. And those of us who aren’t completing cancer treatments can just be patient, be understanding, but importantly just be there for our loved ones.

Knowles, Kimarie. “Young Adults: Coping with Life After Cancer.” Smithl. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Apr. 2016. Web. 29 Apr. 2016. <http://www.lls.org/blog/young-adults-coping-with-life-after-cancer>.

McMahon, Andrew. “Singer Andrew McMahon on the ‘Lost Generation’ of Young Adult Cancer Patients.” U.S News and World Report. U.S News and World Report, 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2016. <http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/10/26/singer-andrew-mcmahon-on-the-lost-generation-of-young-adult-cancer-patients>.

Living the SagerLife

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#SagerStrong.
These days a hashtag can represent anything. In the case of Craig Sager this hashtag represents support, love and immense loyalty from those in the NBA world and all the fans he has touched.

In February, Sager was informed that his leukemia was no longer in remission. His doctors gave him an expectancy of 3-6 months. Even throughout his fight he has continued to report and interview coaches at the end of each game. The overwhelming love, compassion and respect of all staff surrounding Sager has been shown in each interview, each post game and each article.

Craig Sager’s light and energy is what makes him such an inspiration to all those that must fight this battle. “…I’m not going to be that 3–6 months. I‘m going to be that five years. I’m going to make medical history. … I’m fighting this thing to the end. I have too much to do.” Sager says.

http://www.si.com/nba/2016/03/21/craig-sager-leukemia-update-not-in-remission
http://www.sbnation.com/2016/4/7/11349768/craig-sager-disease-smile-nba-on-tnt

He was diagnosed with leukemia back in April 2014 and the disease came back in March 2015. Sager has had two stem cell transplants; the second one in July 2015. He was back at it, on air by the first game of the 2015-16 season.

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Happy National Volunteer Week!

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society would like to extend our most sincere thank you’s to all our kind-hearted and generous volunteers that we see time and time again, helping at our campaign events, completing tasks in the office and just bring a smile and joy to all those with LLS. We wouldn’t be successful without your help! Can’t wait to see everyone again throughout the year and to welcome new faces at each campaign!

To Register for this year’s Light the Night walks visit:
Boston, Nashua, Wakefield and Worcester
http://www.lightthenight.org/ma
Providence
http://www.lightthenight.org/ri


And to become a volunteer give us a call at:
(508) 810-1342

Boston’s Corporate Walk Chair and Executive Leadership Committee Announced!

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Massachusetts Chapter is proud to announce the names of our Corporate Walk Chair and Executive Leadership Committee (ELC) for our 2016 Boston Light The Night Walk! Our Light The Night ELC is an influential team of business leaders within the Greater Boston area committed to assist in corporate development and revenue growth for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light The Night Walk.

 

2016 Corporate Walk Chair:
Robert A. Copeland, Ph.D.
President of Research & Chief Scientific Officer
Epizyme, Inc.

Executive Assistant to the Chair:
Jacquie Zimmerman

2016 Executive Leadership Committee:

Chris Bowden
Chief Scientific Officer
Agios Pharmaceuticals

Diana Brassard
Associate Director, External Partnerships
Baxalta US Inc.

Helen Murphy Connors
Success Engagement Director
salesforce.com

Al Morteo
Partner
Fedcorp

Whitney Pinardi
Senior Payroll & Equity Accountant
Agios Pharmaceuticals

Andrew Singer
EVP and CFO
Epizyme

Mike Smith
CFO
Rockport Group