Leukemia is a disease that is associated with the abnormal or immature white blood cells which are generally referred to as leukemia cells. These leukemia cells do not do the normal function of the white blood cells, which helps the organism to fight against body infections. Leukemia is also said to be the cancer of the body’s blood forming tissues such as the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of immature blood cells (white blood cells/leukocytes) becomes damaged in certain ways. Hence, these activities cause the blood cells grow and divide abnormally (Klosterman 26). In addition, abnormal blood cells do not die as easily as it is the custom within other healthy blood cells; they, therefore, accumulate and occupy more and more space than expected. This with time makes the faulty blood cells crowd the good cells together making the person affected to suffer a lot. There are four types of leukemia that mostly affect people; in this, we have chronic leukemia and acute leukemia, lymphocytic leukemia and myelogenous leukemia.
These four categories of leukemia are categorized according to the speed at which they affect people and the type of blood affected. Chronic and acute leukemia is a classification, or a categorization based on the speed of the disease and the duration it takes to make on sick. Acute leukemia progresses rapidly resulting in accumulation of immature cells in the bone marrow and subsequently affects the blood cells. In this process, acute leukemia then crowds the good or healthy cells together faster than chronic leukemia. Chronic leukemia progresses at a much slower rate than acute leukemia, and in this process, it may allow good mature cells to be made by the bone marrow. The other categorization is based on the type of blood cells affected; and these are lymphocytic leukemia and myelogenous leukemia.
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Lymphocytic leukemia occurs when the cancer effect is realized in the type of marrow that makes the lymphocytes, which is an immune system in the vertebrae. Some of the cancerous transformations/changes take place in the marrow cells producing the platelets, red blood cells and the white blood cells, myelogenous leukemia will eventually arise. Children are also affected by acute lymphocytic leukemia, but this type of leukemia is not only central to young children, but it affects adults as well, but to those adults above the age of sixty five years (O’Brien 47). Other adults above age fifty five years are mainly affected by chronic lymphocytic leukemia and this type of leukemia rarely affects children. Leukemia is a disease that is categorized into different types with some types affecting certain sex often, for instance Acute Mylogenous Leukemia is more common in males than females, and it also affects mature people than does to children.
History Mission and Goals
Leukemia society was founded in 1949 as a voluntary organization with its headquarters in New York. Originally, the society was conceived as the Robert Roesler de Villiers Foundation after its founder, Robert and his son died of Leukemia.The name was later changed to Leukemia society in the. Currently the organization is known as the leukemai and lymphoma society.The society’s main objective of the organization was to source funds for the study and research on blood cancer. Leukemia and lymphoma society’s mission is to provide a cure to various forms of blood cancer and also to better the living conditions and standards of leukemia victims and their members as well. Since its establishment, the society has grown exponentially. Currently, the organization has over 64 chapters in the United States. The organization also has four chapters in Canada.
This is a nonprofit voluntary health organization that is dedicated to research, fund patients and provide educational knowledge and services necessary to patients, give counseling services to the patients, offer transportation services to patients and their families, although their main mission is to cure leukemia, myeloma disease and, therefore, improve the quality of life of patients and their entire families. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has popular information resource centers which aid in connecting patients to their families and caregivers. The controversy to this is the inadequate centers established to support patients worldwide; there are some regions and even some sovereign states that do not have these centers and patients from these regions benefit little from the knowledge and services rendered to them.
To ensure that the organization leaves up to its mission and vision, Leukemia and lymphoma society has put various mechanisms in place. The society has created information resource centers that provide patients and their families with invaluable information concerning blood cancer. The society has health specialists including nurses, social workers and health educators whose main aim is to provide victims and their families with patient care and information. The society’s main source of finance is fundraising. The society raises most of its revenues through voluntary collections and donations from well-wishers.
Although, the organization has enjoyed sound management for many years, the organization has had to grapple with numerous challenges related to financial impropriate. In the 1990s, the company lost most of its revenues through unscrupulous transactions. Most of the society’s collections ended up being misallocated as a result of mismanagement.
Besides the Leukemia society, there are other organizations established to help children affected by the leukemia disorder; The Children’s Leukemia Research Association (CLRA) is an organization founded in 1965 which continues to support research activities/projects in leukemia. At the same time, these organizations provide aids to patients and leukemia families in need. Significant treatment advances have been done in treatment of this disorder in the last decade, but with all these efforts, still some children have the kind of leukemia that do not respond to initial standard chemotherapy, or some have a form of a disease that reoccurs. One of the challenges to these scientific community outreaches has been the inability to come up with specific prescriptions of drugs that will ultimately treat and have a lasting cure to children affected by different forms of leukemia.
There are other numerous nonprofit organizations for leukemia that entirely focus on research, giving education and knowledge about leukemia to the citizens of various nations, treating patients and care giving. This is mainly achieved through raising funds from donors and other well wishers. Awareness building is one of their core objectives, and this is carried out through putting information on their websites. This enhances quality life for leukemia patients and their families as they learn about their programs and research work; this establishes a thorough search and access of information on leukemia at their websites.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a voluntary association aiming at providing free information about to the public, and this is one way of sensitization to the members of the public. This society also engages in searching the information about financial support to the organization; they carry out treatment trials and advocacy programs. A number of Leukemia organizations also have established centers for bone marrow donations, and a good example of this organization is the DKMS, which encourages healthy people to donate bone marrows to the leukemia patients. This is done by the organization encouraging donor drive movements to encourage people to donate bone marrows. Donors are then kept in a registry; this is always an attempt to link donors with patients. The controversy here arises when a leukemia patient is economically disadvantaged or poor hence he or she cannot meet the cost of bone marrow transplant. In this case, the organization is forced to use massive resources to administer these medical processes.
In the United States, there is another leukemia foundation known as the Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation. It is a non-profit humanitarian organization that is exempted from tax. This organization was founded for the honors of the memory of Lauri Strauss who died due to acute myelogenous leukemia when she was at the age of twenty six years. The mission of this foundation is to find a cure for leukemia and other diseases including lymphoma, Hodgkin disease and myeloma. Their mission goes ahead to include awarding of Discovery Grants to people who have successfully come with an innovative development research project. They provide for care and also conduct bone marrow donation drives and lastly promote the exercise of cord blood donations. This organization is governed by leukemia specialists and researchers through grants that supply money to innovative research projects. The organization also invites proposals for innovative new research projects through the Medical Advisory Board. Their programs are coordinated in a way that the funds meant for new research projects cannot be used in capital equipment or administration, and this is monitored by the Discovery Grant Award Supervision. Another organization that aims at the betterment of leukemia patients is the Leukemia Research Foundation which uses varied techniques to fundraise money, which, in turn, the organization uses to fund research activities aiming to discover the causes and come up with the lasting cure of leukemia.
Leukemia, just like most cancer related diseases is a global problem. Therefore, the leukemia and lymphoma must expand its mandate to other regions. Currently, most of these leukemia organizations are based in the western world and the United States. It is important to extend their services to other parts of the world especially in the Latin America, Africa countries, Asia Middle East and in the Caribbean countries such as Haiti, Jamaica et cetera, which do not have strong economic muscles, to set up their own leukemia organizations. Apart from helping people in other regions who are not economically stable to establish their own organizations, research activities should also be carried out in these regions in order to boost the morale of the local and change their beliefs and attitudes towards leukemia patients and the disease. The healthy people in the society should also be sensitized on the importance of upholding values which will enhance their desire to support one another end more so the people affected by acute leukemia. In most developing third world countries, as well as the industrialized nations, the organizations dedicated to leukemia should carry out sensitization programs, which will enable the masses to come into contact with education and knowledge about leukemia and its adverse effects to the patient and his or her family members.
The effect ranges from lose of people and the burden of carrying out treatment and care to the patients. Parents should be advised on the importance of taking their young children for early and regular medical check-ups, so as to establish the disease early if it happens that a particular child is already affected by leukemia. Regional governments should be encouraged, for instance, in the international conferences such as the United Nations annual conferences, to be considerate and establish at least a blood cancer research centers and organizations to address the menace caused by these varied blood cancer diseases. Tests and research into the possibilities of an expectant mother to give birth to a child with blood cancer (leukemia) should be done in hospitals and other maternity birth places so as to enable the leukemia experts and other specialists to correct the situation early.
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