In The News

http://www.swspotlight.com/news/2014-06-01/Giving_Back/Hope_and_Help_for_Those_with_Blood_Cancers.html

 

Hope and Help for Those with Blood Cancers

By Doris Lemcke


Some of the members of The Southwest Florida Advisory Council of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society meeting recently included Steven F. Belcher, Chairman, Angie Marsh, Dawn Parker, and on-going survivor and council member Melissa Godfrey. 
Staff | staff@swspotlight.com

Some of the members of The Southwest Florida Advisory Council of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society meeting recently included Steven F. Belcher, Chairman, Angie Marsh, Dawn Parker, and on-going survivor and council member Melissa Godfrey.  Staff | staff@swspotlight.com

 

Blood cancer, most commonly known as leukemia and lymphoma, is among our most mysterious and deadly diseases, with no known cause, no diagnostic techniques for early detection, no warning, and symptoms that often delay diagnosis until other more common and less severe illnesses have been ruled out.

But while the cause of blood cancer is a mystery, science has made great strides in finding a cure. In fact, over the last twenty years, advances in chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants and drug therapies have saved countless lives and contributed to successful “cross-over” treatment options for other cancers and immune disorders.

Stephen Belcher, a local resident and businessman, as well as a two-time survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (2006 and 2011), says he’s “Living testimony to the success of research in the field of blood disease treatment.” As a long-time volunteer for the Southern Florida and Puerto Rico Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), and just one year out of his second debilitating recovery period, he’s again taken an active role in promoting the organization’s mission to, “Cure Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and Myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”

This month, the LLS announced that Belcher will serve as Chairman for the organization’s Southwest Florida Advisory Council. The nine-member council consists of business and community volunteers whose lives have been touched by the disease, individually or through family members or close friends, and those who feel strongly that there will one day be a cure.

In addition to those pictured here, Council members include Jennifer Alvarez, Beth Oliver, Pete Cento, Barbara Daley and Elizabeth Morris.

The council’s mission is to inform and educate the public and community leaders about fundraising opportunities, education and advocacy programs available to area cancer patients and their families. Partnering with the Hollywood based Southern Florida & Puerto Rico Chapter of LLS, they’ll provide area health care professionals, individuals and families with expert training and support programs that include: “The First Connection Program” for newly diagnosed patients, family and online support groups, financial aid programs and Back to School programs for children.

One event in the planning stages is similar to the successful, “Light the Night Walk,” a three hour evening walk that brings families and communities together to honor blood cancer survivors and fighters, as well as to fund this life-or-death battle with the disease.

When asked why these already very active members of our local businesses and residential communities chose to volunteer for this groundbreaking project, Pete Cento echoed Belcher to say, “It’s about giving back,” to the community and the people working so hard to, “Fight for a cure”. It’s also about giving forward— to those who will need help in the future or will benefit from the discovery of a cure.

 

For more information visit or call 954-744-5300.

 

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