The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the global leader in the fight against blood cancer, and Burlington Stores, the national retailer delivering amazing deals to customers every time they shop, teamed up for the 19th consecutive year to raise critical funds to support LLS’s goal of creating a world without blood cancer, and to furthering their LLS Children’s Initiative, a $100 million multi-year endeavor to help children not only survive, but thrive after treatment. This past fall, Burlington customers donated $1 or more at checkout in the retailers more than 750 stores nationwide, which resulted in nearly $4 million of support.
The newly established LLS Children’s Initiative is dedicated to changing the course of treatment and care, while providing much-needed financial and emotional support to the children and their families impacted by blood cancer. The LLS Children’s Initiative includes: new research grants to advance novel therapies and the first global precision medicine clinical trial for pediatric acute leukemia called LLS PedAL; enhanced free education and support services for children and their families; and renewed policy and advocacy efforts.
Approximately every three minutes – about the time it takes to read this article – someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma. And this year, leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma will account for approximately 10 percent of all new cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S.
Every moment counts in the fight against cancer, and that’s why it’s so important to take action now. Patients and families are counting on us in their time of need, and during the pandemic, our help is even more critical. Thankfully, our friends at Walgreens are making it easier than ever to make an impact.
Walgreens, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), and Susan G. Komen (Komen) are collaborating to raise funds to enable new research in breast and blood cancers and expand access, treatment, and support services for those living with these diseases. In 2019, Walgreens pledged to contribute more than $25 million to LLS and Komen collectively over the next five years to improve the health and well-being of people living with cancer nationwide. But we can’t do this alone.
Together, we can fight cancer. Through the Raise Hope, End Cancer Fundraiser, Walgreens offers two ways for customers to get involved:
During February and March, customers can donate their Walgreens Cash rewards to support the Raise Hope, End Cancer Fundraiser. Simply log into your myWalgreens account online or through the mobile app. On your account dashboard, you will see a link to donate your Walgreens Cash rewards. From there, you will be able to select your donation amount based on the Walgreens Cash rewards available in your account. All funds will be split equally between LLS and Komen.
Beginning February 28 through March 13, customers can make a donation at check-out in Walgreens stores nationwide. More than 9,000 U.S. Walgreens retail and specialty stores are participating in this pin pad donation effort, and all dollars raised will be split equally between LLS and Komen.
LLS will use these funds to accelerate cancer treatment breakthroughs for blood cancer patients and help patients, caregivers, and survivors cope with the financial, emotional, and psychological effects of cancer. Walgreens has been collaborating with LLS since 2016, supporting education and resources for blood cancer patients and their families and providing training and certification for specialty pharmacists. Walgreens has also raised significant funds for our mission through in-store fundraising, community engagement, and volunteerism through LLS’s Light The Night.
Together with Walgreens and Komen, we’re encouraging everyone to get involved in the fight against cancer. No matter how you choose to take part in the Raise Hope, End Cancer Fundraiser, you’ll be making a difference in the lives of patients living with breast and blood cancers.
Take action today! Log into your myWalgreens account online or through the mobile app to donate your Walgreens Cash rewards. Don’t have a myWalgreens account? Sign up for free to start saving on purchases and donate your Walgreens Cash rewards.
At The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), we celebrate every advancement toward our mission of curing blood cancer and improving the quality of life for patients and their families. Today’s reason to celebrate is the news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new treatment for children with a rare type of cancer called ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).
ALCL constitutes approximately 10-15% of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the pediatric population. This rare lymphoma is curable with standard chemotherapy for most children, but the newly approved drug from Pfizer, crizotinib (XALKORI®), is now an option for those whose cancer returned or worsened despite earlier treatment. This is a long-awaited treatment option for the pediatric population, as anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors have been approved for adults with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer and lymphoma for years. ALK, the molecular target for crizotinib is altered in 85% of pediatric ALCL patients. This alteration in ALK is much less prevalent in adult ALCL; treatments for ALK-negative ALCL is the subject of a current LLS grant provided to Dr. Andrew Feldman (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN).
In clinical studies for the pediatric indication, crizotinib was efficacious based on objective response rate (ORR) and duration of response as assessed by an independent review committee. The ORR in the 26 patients was 88% (95% CI: 71, 96), with a complete remission rate of 81%. Of the 23 patients who achieved a response, 39% maintained response for at least 6 months, and 22% maintained response for at least 12 months.
Medical advancements are never more important than when they lead to cures for children. LLS has been at the forefront of advances in pediatric blood cancer since its founding in 1949, and with the launch of the Children’s Initiative in 2019, continues to take on children’s cancer from every direction. Most children with blood cancers are treated with the same toxic combinations of chemotherapies developed decades ago. LLS is committed to revolutionizing the standard of care for children with cancer and providing them with safer, more effective treatments that rely less on chemotherapies that harm healthy cells in the body.
While we celebrate today’s good news and what it means for children with ALK-positive ALCL and their families, we at LLS also remain focused on how much more there is to do.
Through the LLS Children’s Initiative, an unprecedented collaboration, we are setting out to transform pediatric blood cancer treatment and care. The initiative is focused on saving even more children from blood cancers, but our focus goes deeper. We want to shift the standard of care for children, moving them away from toxic chemotherapies and toward effective and safe precision medicine treatments that target their cancer without harming the rest of their bodies.
LLS is striving to raise $100 million for this multi-year collaboration to expand our investment in leading-edge research, provide a comprehensive array of free information, resources and financial support for affected children and families, and support policies that break down barriers to accessing care and developing new treatments.
LLS financial investments are strategically designed to fuel scientific breakthroughs, but breakthroughs, despite how they sound, do not happen quickly. The journey from laboratory discovery to the ability to control or even cure a disease is a long road. LLS, on behalf of blood cancer patients, our volunteers, and our advocates, provides sustained funding in research programs that can make cures happen.
Lee Greenberger, Ph.D., is the Chief Scientific Officer of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society