Published : Thursday, March 29, 2012 | 11:34 PM
St. Francis High School is excited to announce that it will be participating in the Pennies for Patients program in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Students will be collecting coins for the cause from April 16-27, 2012. By participating, the students at St. Francis are joining millions of students across the country who are raising funds to find cures for blood cancers like leukemia. St. Francis High School invites the local communities to participate as well. Don’t miss the chance to have fun and save lives! All money raised during the Pennies for Patients program will go to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Information on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (http://www.lls.org/):
The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
Hope Rises from Loss
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) was born out of a family’s grief following the death of their teenage son.
Robert Roesler de Villiers (left), son of a well-to-do New York family, was only 16 when he quickly succumbed to leukemia in 1944. Five years later, frustrated by the lack of effective treatments for what was then considered a hopeless disease, parents Rudolph and Antoinette de Villiers started a fundraising and education organization in their son’s name.
Headquartered in a small Wall Street office, the Robert Roesler de Villiers Foundation had only a few volunteers and a tiny budget. The task was daunting. Most leukemia patients, especially children, died within three months. Even by the mid-1950s, when the first-generation chemotherapy drugs began appearing, the disease remained a stubborn challenge. The Foundation reported in its 1955 annual report: “As of this date, Leukemia is 100% fatal. This is almost a unique situation among the many diseases to which man is susceptible.”
Driven by the de Villiers’ nearly boundless belief that leukemia and other blood cancers were indeed curable, the Foundation grew steadily, opening its first chapters in the New York City area. The organization, after changing its name to The Leukemia Society, was renamed The Leukemia Society of America in the 1960s to communicate a broad, national reach.
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