Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love and War

Happy Valentine's Day! We had such a great day around here - early morning kolaches, handmade Valentine cards and treats, and delicious cupcakes after dinner. Love was in the air even more than it usually is, and that is really saying something! 

But even with all we have to be happy about and grateful for, and as much as we are determined to always "accentuate the positive," we've been reminded quite loudly over the past week or so of the harsh realities of childhood cancer. In a nutshell, there is currently a crisis-level shortage of one of the most important medicines required for every Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia protocol: Methotrexate (MTX). Throughout her treatment, Georgia has received MTX orally, by IV, and by injection into her spinal fluid in 24 day surgeries - and it is specifically the supply of this injectable form that is so low, some hospitals may run out within the next two weeks. The shortage has been coming on for a while now, but the decision by one of the four US manufacturers to suspend production of MTX for alleged "quality issues" really compounded the problem by creating a demand that the other smaller manufacturers can't keep up with. And while we of course want our drugs to be safe, remedying these quality issues (or finding other supply sources) doesn't seem to be a priority for all parties involved. Also, it's impossible to ignore the fact that MTX is a generic drug, for a supposed "rare" disease, which adds up to low profitability for manufacturers - a consideration that could quite possibly cost children diagnosed with a largely curable cancer their lives.

So, dear Friends of Georgia, we're asking for your help. The childhood cancer community has sounded a Call to Action and made it very easy for all of us to lend our voices. Below are links to pages for CureSearch and St. Baldrick's where - in FIVE MINUTES - you can let your Senators and Congressional Representatives know that Georgia needs preservative-free Methotrexate in order to stay in remission and complete her protocol for ALL. She's got one more day surgery to go - but think of the kids getting diagnosed today who will need at least three day surgeries in the next month. What will happen if the supply runs out? 

PLEASE click on these links, enter your information, and emails will be automatically sent to your reps. I did it and got an auto-reply from John Cornyn's office within minutes. It's so easy and can truly SAVE LIVES!

CureSearch (When you open this page, skip the links up top and scroll down to the bottom to put in your address, etc.. Once you hit "submit," it will automatically match you with your reps.)

St. Baldrick's (Again, your rep information will be matched to your address for you, so there's no need to search for it.)

And as for news on the drug shortage, here are some links to stories and articles, including the latest word that the pressure being put on these manufacturers is maybe making a difference already. But don't let that stop you! PLEASE share this post with anyone and everyone, and Keep Georgia - and all of these kids - On Your Mind!

I know that's a lot of information, and I'll be happy to answer any questions or help in any way. We are truly waging a war against leukemia and all childhood cancers, and we so appreciate your continued support. 

Love wins.

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