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Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 031818

Mar 14, 2018|

AN INTERVIEW WITH JULIE DAVIDSON AND BLAKE SAKAMOTO WITH LLS ABOUT THE WORK THEY DO, THEIR FUNDRAISING EFFORTS, AND THE RESEARCH BEING DONE LOCALLY TO FIGHT BLOOD CANCERS.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is metro scope and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Gary blocks. The mission statement of the leukemia and lymphoma society is to cure leukemia lymphoma hodgkin's disease and myeloma. And improve the quality of life for patients and their families. I'd like to welcome a couple of guests to let us know just exactly how they do that under just go this time I would like to welcome Blake Sakamoto and Julie Davidson both with the leukemia and lymphoma society spoke about the scope guys and little. And to be here certainly so. I was thing about this before I sort of this interview and I am not exactly sure what leukemia and lymphoma are blood cancers were to explain to new blood cancers. So I'd like cancer is a cancer that as you would think starts in the lives it is something that typically patients don't realize they've got until they. Finally go to the doctor after maybe being unwell for awhile and they have some blood work done and they realize they've got something going on that's fairly serious. Blood cancers have been around for a long time but. Really eat only since the sixties have we started to you been able to effectively treat them back in the sixties for example. With acute than the plastic leukemia which is the most common form of childhood leukemia and childhood cancer and act and this that used to be a death sentence. The work of the leukemia lymphoma society has really taken on that challenge and since then. What used to be a 3% survival rate is now over 90%. Which some Democrat. Yeah that's that's incredible. So good winning the when I hear Lou community give children but it's not not always the case is unfortunately no I cancer doesn't care how old you are. What you do for a job where you come from. Your socio economic stances. Cancer can affect anyone at any time I'm personally I've lost a grandmother. And a friend at age 24. I've known lots of children who have been affected. And I have a health is an ox very dear friend to in her late forties received a life she came to us so. Really does this impact just about everyone but not just the patients the people who love them their families their caregivers. And who they work for. Cancer Texas now. For sure I think I could be. The unique person that hasn't been touched by cancer in some way. That would be a good thing to him to be that person in Canada eh when that the certainly amazing that these can better for I think people. With cancer these days now and into treatment research and spaceship that really tissues and made great difference and part of this mighty. And they feel Lucchino poses ID is the fundraising aspect in the researching you know benefits from the money raised. There's a lot of good stuff happening to belittle my gosh. I think I can't even you know my involvement with this organization it began because I would just be part of the entertainment. But you eat yet sit and watch C event and the keynote speakers a special appeals in their testimonials from especially young kids. Now is trying their hardest part watching kids you know recover. In in their game better but to see where they came from. And with the money from the research into research went to an end to help them and that's. Descent I'm inspired it's you know what can we do. So that's kind of how I got involved but that's their research and development is amazing. How long have you been volunteering with the leukemia and lymphoma society we can we can sure that it LL ass raped her okay okay okay. Sure that's cool let's cinema tongue twister that I've been involved with a canoe from the society. An illness for about ten years now and it's always been part of the entertainment however. You know when you're you doing the event and you sick looking woman think it's certain amount some stunning mine portion of it you know disk that's at least I can do. And didn't give people dancing rally in your support and then you know if we have during the time that we know we interview I'm talking about then what mystique Gallup poll pits and may usually. And down easy there's campaigns have run all sorts of people trying to raise money in different ways. So pumps usual know somebody who's running for it manatee wounding you're still in the year. And so all rally behind the that there are people just talk about. Them. That they're looking to business card that says you're an all star candidate with a split is that Sony might want to. I'd 2008 titles or myself and also let you go ahead and some people of that and says here's the good morning SNL I think those I'm happy to talk to that it's in print. But it's in the papers knowing him that I don't like this that so an all star with the. With this particular campaign which is the man and woman and exit at the students version Islam men and women and students of the year. That the volunteers that run our very special group of people. Every year our leadership team nominates the vast amounts to pack the leaders across multiple industries across our for a while in our area here Oregon and southwest Washington. And that the campaign has been running for fourteen years this will be our fourteenth you're here in 2018. And it's an all star is a candidate who would run an a year previously so Blake first. Officially took on the mantle of humanity here challenge in 2015. And it does take a special kind of crazy to run again. And so we may just you're probably couldn't think Michigan is hinting at another count. Gladly took a step back and. Sources and all involved with being a man of the year in Ulster. Well and the fund raising goals are a lot larger effect. Which is Ed daunting but it's sort of like well you know come weakened -- I'll just say in my past have been recording musician touring in. Things like that and internationally so I think she is like can apply some of the now resell the people I've met in my life and you know he's seen a million phases in Iraq tomorrow. He had just need ten dollars Amaechi in cook up something like that so I figure I I don't reach out to everybody I've ever met. A there's some list form or another hit it in the end and we'll we'll get to our goals. So what's what's really involved in in a lot of this is ten week period we have from early march to mid may. To raise. A six figure McCarthy's. I mean this this is really me and I've I've I've said okay 152 so it turned thousand dollars no problem. But we're gonna go for it. So I'm having lots little events and fundraisers where it may be a concert might feel like a little cocktail hour might be. I've had people and a teen people have been in these people are. Are working hard for on behalf of meat can expect to Rick races an out so everyone has their own little offense like we just had a guitar raffle at. When these local shows increased about 350 foreigner dollars for that. But I think what was good about Dallas the room was excited about. Participating in just you know a raffle and they had no eight DM most the people gonna in the that the effort was his great uncle my happy pill. And down they went in there and they were just excited to go into dance and party and and they realize they're part of something. Better. And so low we we did dead in the salon a little things like that are happening with my team. That's so great and very touching him in the think you guys seem pinkie less at the thought. An office is an incredible organization. The besides raising money what else does that's the L Ellis do. Well we we raise money to find cures for cancer or stopped there wanting to cure leukemia lymphoma hodgkin's disease in my Lama. And really just improve the quality of life for patients you know where we are on a genetically on the side of our patients. Am I the money that's raised and in an hour chapter it's around three million dollars every year that great victories organs as Washington Idaho Montana. That money goes into three general areas so there's that the research. LS has placed on the most exciting breakthrough promising research anywhere in the world we're currently funding researchers in these countries plus the US. And so we don't fund the research that potentially. Has the biggest market size or we'll have the biggest commercial return we found the areas of unmet need we found where patients yes and and were able to do that because. We have partnerships and we take a very collaborative approach. When working to find these skewers so so that that research really is what's going to make a difference for people. We have been able to through that research improved treatment options for many and not only are we focusing on blood cancers that. Over 40% of all cancer treatments currently on the market were first developed for blood cancer patients that really makes. Blood cancer the tip of the spear for ending all cancer as we now out and leukemia and lymphoma society is the world's. Largest voluntary health organization dedicated to ending like cancer. So except if you're gonna get behind cancer cause this is one of those that you know we have the potential to have an incredibly wide impact. We also support patients directly with financial assistance so we have two main programs co pay. And a travel assistance programs. And we knew. Receive a diagnosis or any type of cancer but it's devastating financially hands we wanna help with that. Last year at the leukemia and lymphoma society. Paid out 73 million dollars in cocaine financial assistance to our patience that's direct cost. Cash in hand that's amazing it's a huge amount of money and it really. It it makes a big difference and then finally where the voice support cancer patients so we advocates strongly there are. Ash over a million people currently in the last living with the blood cancer. And every three minutes someone new is going to get their diagnosis and every nine minutes someone else is gonna lose their models so we really want to. Help. Unite the blood cancer patients there are many different forms. Blood cancers even within those four that I mentioned. So within the sport major types of blood cancer leukemia lymphoma hodgkin's disease and myeloma there are many different subset of those and one of the areas that we've been able to make a difference from an efficacy standpoint. Is in legislation specifically oral parity and I don't know if you're familiar with what moral purity is no so oral parity. Is a is a law that LS has been able to help pass and 44 states now. That's helps patients with a the accessibility of their treatments so many treatments now are available in cold for you can take chemo pill instead of having to buy I fear or by poor tore. And in an infusion clinic which is that. But look for much more convenient for. Patients as you'd imagine there's doing a rural area need to travel agent which as you. For treatment so what this blonde justice is help. Insurance companies understand that the they can't charge more. They that the cost sharing needs to be the same if you can take your toe by mouth or by. Another way so it really helps to make those new therapies more accessible. Great stuff. That's an amazing organization behind tiger well you know in in a what I think drove me to make my decision due to Reynoso was he near great fantastic once was this these people but also as. A daughter friend of mine misdiagnosis you know a kind man Lomas of leukemia. Thumb print out about the same time we day asked me to be an all star and personal insult can make sense season. Twenty year old college kid named Sophie in new routine Sophie. Her mom's. She and I've been friends for a long time and when I discovered that it was Sophie. Who had. Leukemia as I just neat thing young kids she's so beautiful tall model esque down I'll concede you and LT. And so he gets everybody can and inside flat fee it's a sinus and champion and help out. So but looking uniforms cited sent a great job for you know so fifa in particular because she went to love school cross is does it cross the pond there. And so we she's able league get to treatment over there either I can and know what I don't know what she went Italy or something to happen. Army has so she's even getting treatment who was that how does this welcome I'm trying to member of doctor Drucker who helped. Arraigned said doctor frank Drucker of of of those. The night cancer center of the daily tissue and. So doctor brain decrepit OH I assume that really changed the face of chronic mileage that Kenya for patients like young Sophie. Who you know previously it had been you know it still is a very serious disease that he he's able to with a pill called clean back that he helped develop. They can now lead a fairly normal life which is pretty incredible he has also been since in the lead researcher on that beat any amount. Master clinical trial on a malice. In some ways similar to Siena and accept dissent of the chronic it's acute which means comes on fast and furious and this is also at. And it's not I have a really scary form of cancer because it's. Changes as you go them and which makes it a moving target of sorts when you're trying to treat it so. The leukemia lymphoma society and doctor Brian Drucker and others around the country. Partnered together in something called the beat in a master clinical trial and the leukemia lymphoma society's the first non profit organization ever be approved by the FDA to leave a clinical trial. People stop let alone one of this the scale and nature. And and basically what we're we're doing is we're patent because a amount is the most common form of adult leukemia. And because it hasn't had any new treatments and about forty years. We've decided to. Really put our best efforts into this and we're very proud of the fact that in last between seventeen. For new treatments were troops specifically for an impatience. After a forty year drought of treatment pretty amazing artist and and and not only have we been able to change that but it. In terms of the way that trial. Approaches. Medicine in general. And it's a collaborative effort so LS is at the heart of this trial working with pharmaceutical companies working with research institutions. Working with many other partners to. It nationally pull together this amazing. Program where. We ask patients to wait two weeks to receive treatment so we can map their genome. And then we're able to deliver a very specific targeted piece of precision medicine to them that attacks specifically the type and am looking at. That's a home win over my head. But it doesn't command and it's pretty incredible because really what we've been able to zoo is in a while they're still the standard of care and chemotherapy and radiation. I'm in many ways those treatments are still so incredibly harsh on a body particularly talking many young person must and growing and developing. So being able to be very specific and targeted in our approach to fighting cancer is the wave of the future. Another. Another treatment that was approved last year that were also incredibly product is the cartoon so immunotherapy are you familiar with that not now. That is absolutely genius and CEO doctor Lou Jannero likens it to say Star Wars type medicine in that. You. You're you're able to. Harness the body's own immune system to. I cancer so doctor Carlton back in the 80s I am out of the University of Pennsylvania and started to work without a lesson we funded some of those early were searching cars to sell music therapy and that's basically he re engineered. The HIV virus to turn it into a cancer serial killer. And when it was reintroduced into with a patient. Not only did they not get HIV of course because if the virus at an altered. But it was able to identify and attack just the cancers house. So they're different side effects there's also you know some their criteria stone however. It's just it's not only been able to give people back their lives and hope. Four AL Allard RQ and a plastic leukemia that child to the came in attacked an earlier. But it's also now in clinical trials for other forms of cancers. And it's just it's an amazing dynamic approach. So with the current T cell immunotherapy is really the wave of the future and we talked about how we're going to change cancer landscape as we know it it will be in this precision medicine where we can. Understand exactly what's going on with any particular patient. And give them a personalized. Treatment options out well. If not cure them completely which is the ultimate goal but well then it will. Then we'll change and I turn into a chronic illness and they can go on get back to their normal. How much there's been a lot of research done and assuming by. The lymphoma and leukemia society. And a lot of that kind of spills over to other cancers too is that correct so how how is that going how does that work. It's it's. Let's say I mean if it's acting is going incredibly well I hope and our focus is very much on blood cancers and and hearing now is to think about. You know at the blood it's much easier to access than solid tumors in most cases it's easier to test and retest. And if something's wrong with someone thing you you pick up in the blood fairly quickly. And so you can fix it in the blood can understand what makes the blood work was at the genetic level liked what. Triggers what indicators there are even at the cellular level what can you turn on or turn off. To attract or repel. Something then you know then you really have something to work within the leukemia and lymphoma society's been dedicating. A lot of time in energy and resources to understanding what's going on at that level. And it. I mean our track record is tremendous were so counterfeit you know being able to. Saying that over 40% of all cancer treatments were first developed for blood cancer treatments are a cancer patients. It is tremendous and really where the tip of the spear for Indian market. That's for rape in November and all this research into new organ children in all this recent takes quite a lot of money. Brave enough and just just finding this cure if they tell their but it's going to be paid for how does what he has raise money. So we raise money and in a few different ways and that's an excellent point in this researched it for for every. Amazing approval that we get for every promising treatment there others that you don't quite go to plan but LS is poised to. Really invest in the most promising research anywhere in the world which is tremendous. And the money that we raise is we consider it a promise to our patients so we recently announced that we are. Funding 211 million dollars in multiyear grants specifically for cancer research and over the next year's that's going to make a tremendous impact and it. The research does cost you think about. You know that the facilities and the staff and the testing and that. Power in the time that it takes the cart tees on immunotherapy. We even been investing in that for over twenty years. And the pace is accelerating so I I highly doubt it will be another twenty years before the next big breakthrough. But it really does and that takes patience and care in time the money that we raise comes from specifically with us locally for major fundraising campaigns. So we've got the man and woman and students of the year which we've talked about with Blake those are. Those are waving over the U. And he's still at all. And and they all are we this year we have thirteen incredible leaders in the Baker's dozen. Tremendous community and business leaders who had dedicated ten weeks of their spring to do nothing but. Help us reach our one goal which is an end to cancers we know it so we have a very big goal our grand finale is on Saturday may twelfth. And at that night's via a final push to fundraising for incredible candidates and their teams. And will reveal that not only who the man and a Woman of the Year are and also the total race at all of the impact that they are able to have. Our other major fundraising event is called light the night and a few familiar with the you know beautiful event down on the waterfront every year. A this year October 27. 2018. It will be again at arms C. And crossing the Telecom bridge and back so Blake last year the new waivers absolutely. And were incredible. Entertainment on that night and it's it's suited to surround 5000 people. The second largest fireworks show in Portland it's an absolutely stunning event and we have different lanterns at each display carries he's carrying gold here. There and loving memory of someone he carry a white if you're survivor most people carry rat which are supporters look across this beautiful Dark Knight and split up with red lanterns and that's. So I'll just say as it as I'm playing him munching on the lanterns in the in the hundreds of people gathered insisted. Breathtaking. Thousands like thousand hotel and let the states I Italy create the next few interesting rounds and thousands of people thousands of either. And we also have a student series campaign which helps school kids to be involved and we do some things. I like change drug companies for patients and they just an absolute folly work with over 600 schools and our chapters so. And that's that's a great way for the younger people involved and we have team in training you may have seen around at a lot of the big marathon events they Wear the purple jerseys. And this year actually is our thirtieth anniversary. Ad team in training so we're doing a big Pacific crest trail festival Hudson River I've. I don't know what I was and humanness and for the first half marathon. For the sake tell us the ethics or good luck for that's a if somebody were ST given golden help wealthy man and woman and or student of the year how they and how to get more information about them. Absolutely gosh we would love to have them be the best place for them to go would be to our men and women of the year website and that is WWW. Dot MW OY dot work. Slash OSW. I am. Or post swim let's that he never attacked her snow and W a Y dot org slash a swim. And there are going to be able to meet the candidates have read up about our events we are honored here of families we have two amazing families. Whose children have you know have some. Come out the other side of add tremendous experience and they let us share their story. As inspiration touch when prime candidates and and team members. You can read about them and we just we we need volunteers on the night we need our candidates when they reach out to use to you mean you just say yes. And her volunteers I thought I think that was your post with the fifth pick but that's the so Blake can we find out about where you're having all of your immensely fundraising efforts in the new AB CNN day he's fundraising event at a place called the warehouse 23 in Vancouver on April 14 and so Spaniard. Tax refund and cricket cup let's just. Some but yet no India whereas twenty to formerly deal in the key. Nonetheless and just across the bridge over there thank you very and then we are teaming up with a band come my happy pill. On Cinco De Mayo and I believe we will have this big huge massive fund raiser at DH and hill ballroom. That's 30 congratulations and just like raising all this money thank you so much to let me ask you know less than your so we have here how can people get more information about LL that's. He's the best place for patients and caregivers and family members to go for more information about leukemia and lymphoma society and including disease specific information. Reliable so resources and an all sorts of great information would be our website so it stepped up dot dot LO last dot org that's really the best first place. For people to go we also have an information resource costs energy so that number is 800. 9554572. And that is staffed by masters level and college professionals who are able to help field to study query that you have. And including. Matching up with someone who has been in your shoes before our first connections program. And also. Help you access the co pay in financial travel assistant. That's that we have available for patients and and also if it. Patients are currently in treatment all of the major hospitals in the area their social workers to a fantastic job. And have our information as well there's so much that is overwhelming when you get any diagnosis like that. And the last place your doctor to take a look at this is online for doctor Google. But they will tell you that tell us stop work is an amazing resource and please check out. We gonna help. That that initial diagnosis you just gotta feel completely. Afraid and alone. And Telus dot org is truly a good place to start. Can every patient that I've spoken way they have kind of a before cancer at an after cancer it it truly changes your perspective. And and until you've been there yourself it's really hard to to fully appreciate it. What you're going through them. We're here you know we're here bring you corner. Good thank you so thanks for being part of his interview to a fifty so much of that we've been talking they would Blake Sakamoto enjoy Davidson with the leukemia and lymphoma society thinks god it's so scary you know. Smith microscope is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Gary blocks and if you're involved with the nonprofit public affairs organizations or you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. This is metro still PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website and submit your information there. Thanks for listening to metals gold can enjoy the rest of your weekend.