Hosted by Lora Lewis, Philadelphia Focus introduces you to the people and organizations making a difference in our community, from health and safety issues to education, employment, and even entertainment opportunities. Philadelphia Focus looks for solutions and positive action to make our region a better place to call home.
Annette Weidenfeld, Campaign Development Director, and Beasley Media Group’s WMMR’s own Nick McIlwain, volunteer and ‘Philadelphia Man of the Year’ candidate, discussed the programs and successes of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Annette described what constitutes a blood cancer and we discussed who gets the diagnosis; she notes that children make up about 40% of cases, but that genetic and environmental factors mean that anyone or any age can develop one. We discussed the LLS mission, to cure Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease and Myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Annette spoke of their success, LLS is at the forefront of the fight to cure cancer and they have invested nearly $1.3 billion in research. She also told us that their breakthroughs in immunotherapy, genomics and personalized medicine and these new treatments discovered through blood cancer research are now being tested in clinical trials for other cancers. Not only are deaths decreasing, Annette tells us that the first treatment in over 30 years for the especially deadly AML is now available. She also discussed their initiatives in childhood care, looking to decrease the long-term side-effects of treatment. We spoke about patient outcomes and their advocacy for access to treatment and affordable healthcare.
We talked about their patient services, LLS is there from diagnosis through treatment and more, with peer support, referrals, and even financial help. Nick, part of the Preston & Steve Morning Show on BMG’s WMMR, spoke about his work for LLS. His young nephew and his father were both diagnosed with blood cancers within the same year. He had participated in LLS events through the station, but now he knew first-hand how important LLS is to the families fighting these diseases and he stepped up to becoming one of their leading advocates. He was especially touched that they cared about his entire family, not just the patients, and offered advice and support through every step of their way through treatment. Nick has lead the Beasley stations’ fundraising, through ‘Team Luke’ at the annual Big Climb, to Light the Night and the annual walk. He is now campaigning for ‘Philadelphia Man of Year,’ every dollar he raises is a vote for him and needed money for that research and patient support. To learn more about his campaign and his competitors for ‘Man’, ‘Woman’ and ‘Student of the Year’ as well as information about fundraising throughout the year, go to LLS.ORG and check ‘How To Help’