Every three minutes in the United States, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer. This startling statistic underscores the urgent need for awareness and support in the battle against these life-threatening diseases. Through a heartwarming conversation with Tara Coleman, the Executive Director of the Children’s Leukemia Research Association (CLRA), gain valuable insights into the organization’s unwavering commitment to making a difference this giving season.
A Lifeline for Patients and Families
Founded in 1965, CLRA has been at the forefront of blood cancer research for over half a century. While their initial mission was to find the causes and cures for leukemia in children, their impact has since extended to both children and adults. Tara Coleman explains, “Our programs have grown,” and today, CLRA stands as a vital resource in the fight against blood cancer.
Supporting Critical Research
One pillar of CLRA’s mission is the funding of research grants to doctors nationwide. These grants are carefully reviewed by a medical advisory committee, ensuring that the funding addresses the most promising and essential research that is not duplicated elsewhere. By investing in groundbreaking research, CLRA contributes to the advancement of knowledge about blood cancer, fostering hope for better treatments and ultimately, cures.
The Patient Assistance Program: A Beacon of Hope
CLRA’s impact is most profoundly felt through its Patient Assistance Program. Tara highlights this program as a critical aspect of their work, emphasizing, “It’s a quick application, and we assist patients all over the United States.” The program serves as a lifeline for individuals and families facing the financial burden of blood cancer treatment.
Patients diagnosed with leukemia and other blood-related disorders often endure staggering medical expenses. These include co-pays for medications, treatments, and various medical procedures. For many, the cost of these necessities can quickly become insurmountable. However, the Patient Assistance Program steps in to provide vital financial support, alleviating this significant burden.
A Personal Touch
Anne McAuley Lopez, a beneficiary of CLRA’s assistance, shares her experience with Tara. She discusses how the program helped her manage the costs of her chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) medication. Before accessing the program, the monthly cost of her medication could be as high as $500. Through CLRA’s assistance, this financial strain was significantly reduced, allowing her to focus on her health and well-being.
How Donations Can Make a Difference
Tara Coleman and Anne Mcauley Lopez highlight the power of donations in supporting CLRA’s mission. Ann suggests that for those who want to help, “Don’t go get your cup of coffee at the big box coffee shop one day. Send us the $5.” This analogy underscores the idea that even small, regular donations can collectively make a substantial impact.
By supporting CLRA through donations, individuals become part of a community dedicated to easing the journey of blood cancer patients. Whether it’s providing funds for research grants or assisting patients with their medical expenses, every contribution plays a vital role in the fight against blood cancer.
Blood Cancer Awareness Month is a time to reflect on the challenges faced by patients and their families. It’s also an opportunity to acknowledge the tireless efforts of organizations like CLRA in providing hope and support. CLRA’s dedication to funding critical research and offering a helping hand to those in need exemplifies the power of compassion and community. Together, we can raise awareness, make a difference, and bring hope to those affected by blood cancer.