Thursday, September 5, 2013

Action Items plus HOPE!

September is also Blood Cancer Awareness Month, so here's a way for you to take ACTION for leukemia, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's Disease fighters of all ages: Sign this petition from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and help us put an end to dangerous "specialty tier" pricing for anti-cancer medications. HR 460, the Patients' Access to Treatments Act of 2013 would eliminate harmful pricing structures that allow health insurers to charge so much for certain drugs that cancer patients are forced to skip doses – or go without crucial treatments altogether. These patients are already in a fight for their lives, and they shouldn't have to fight for their medicines as well. Please let your voice be heard!

Also, if you are in the Austin/Central Texas area, the Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas is currently in urgent need of O+ blood. You can schedule a donation appointment by phone or online or just walk in as soon as possible. And if you have a different blood type, or live outside of Central Texas, please donate when you can, and help ensure that a safe, steady blood supply is available for those who need it.

And finally, a HUGE congratulations goes out to Dell Children's Blood & Cancer Center and specifically to our hero, Dr. Neff, for being awarded a $250K Hyundai Hope Grant for childhood cancer research! Dr. Neff and his team will investigate the molecular changes in cancer cell metabolism in response to medications, with the goal of predicting outcomes and allowing for optimized care and personalized chemotherapy treatments. Dr. Neff says that "using the patients' blood and actual cancer cells to create a metabolic profile will greatly improve the understanding of the drugs and how they are used in therapy. This could result in higher survival rates in children with leukemia with less chance of relapse and with fewer side effects." That sounds like HOPE in ACTION to us!

Thumbs up!

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