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Member update June 2024

We are profoundly grateful for your ongoing support and dedication to the blood cancer community in Australia. Your commitment makes a world of difference, and we are thrilled to share some impactful highlights from this past month.

World Blood Cancer Day – 28th May 2024

Tim Murphy, General Manager, Blood Cancer Partnerships

On World Blood Cancer Day, the Leukaemia Foundation made a powerful statement at Parliament House, shedding light on the pressing challenges faced by blood cancer patients, especially the critical need for more stem cell donors.

Highlights from the day:

  • Parliament House Event: Patients, supporters, MPs from various political parties, professional athletes (including the Canberra Raiders, ACT Brumbies, and Joe Roff), community organisations, and clinicians came together in solidarity.
  • Collaboration and Call to Action: Over 20 MPs, their staff, the Leukaemia Foundation, ABMDR, and the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood united to urge eligible Australians to register as stem cell donors through @Strength2Give.
  • Funding announcement: We welcomed a recent funding commitment of up to $4.2 million by the Australian Government, with states and territories, to increase the number and diversity of bone marrow donors on the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR).

Approximately 3/4 of stem cell donations come from overseas. With continued and broad support, the Leukaemia Foundation can hopefully help boost the numbers of people on Australia’s stem cell registry, and thus better support those patients who need a stem cell transplant.

Shocking New Statistics

On World Blood Cancer Day, the Leukaemia Foundation unveiled startling new statistics:

  • One in 12 Australians will be diagnosed with blood cancer.
  • Blood cancer is one of the nation’s deadliest cancers, claiming over 6,000 lives annually.
  • One in three Australians diagnosed will lose their life within five years.

The Leukaemia Foundation remains steadfast in our mission: life-saving care shouldn’t cost your life savings. Through comprehensive health services, funding world-leading research, and campaigning for better lives for over 140,000 Australians living with blood cancer, we strive to make a significant impact.

Support Us: To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit the Leukaemia Foundation’s donation page by 30 June 2024.

Your contributions help us keep families together during their toughest times by providing free accommodation near hospitals, practical support like food and transport vouchers, and assistance with other financial burdens.

New Optimal Care Pathways

We are delighted to announce a major advancement for blood cancer treatment and care in Australia: the release of five new Optimal Care Pathways (OCPs) by Australia’s Blood Cancer Taskforce, which is co-Chaired by Prof John Seymour, and Chris Tanti as CEO of the Leukaemia Foundation.

What are OCPs? OCPs are trusted guides that outline what optimal care for specific types of cancer should look like, ensuring that patients remain at the heart of care decisions and helping to establish national standards of high-quality care across Australia.

New OCPs Introduced:

  1. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL)
  2. AL-Amyloidosis
  3. Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma (CTCL)
  4. Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN)
  5. Waldenström’s Macroglobulinaemia (WM)

These new OCPs join the existing eight blood cancer OCPs, aiming to reduce variability in treatment and care across the country, marking a significant milestone in the battle against blood cancer in Australia.

For more information, please visit the links below.

Resources and upcoming events

Here are some resources and upcoming events that may be of interest:

Webinar: Complementary Therapies

In this webinar, mindfulness and meditation expert Chris O’Brien shares how practicing mindfulness while living with blood cancer can drastically improve both mental and physical wellbeing.

Learn Module: Young Adults with Blood Cancer

We cover the various impacts blood cancer has on the lives of young adults, from study and finances to sexuality and relationships. We share tips to navigate these challenges and improve quality of life.

‘Talking Blood Cancer’ Podcast: Finding Strength

Host Kate Arkadieff is joined by Nerys Welch, who shares her deeply personal experience as the caregiver and widow of her husband, Richard, who faced T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

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