The Beat Leukemia Initiative
Beat Leukemia was born in October 2007 as a discussion group on the popular social networking platform Facebook (www.facebook.com). Its creator, Alex Cevenini, is a leukemia survivor, who wished to raise awareness of leukemia and blood diseases for the greatest number of people, as well as offer support for the people enduring the same condition.
By Spring 2008 the group had more than 800 members, and it began to work well connecting people in need with people offering help and support. This website was created as a joint effort of its members, who wished to reach people outside of Facebook as well.
Here you will find basic information on what leukemia is and how it is treated, as well as a few insights into how friends and relative can best relate to and help people hit by leukemia.
The page Help BL will address one common issue of charities: Trust. When deciding to join a cause people is often overwhelmed by the number of organizations seeking funding, and they are rarely sure about their good faith. The Facebook group Beat Leukemia has an open thread on it’s discussion board where people can tell stories about organizations with which they directly came in contact or that helped them beat leukemia. These organizations are listed here, organized by country, and are constantly updated. If you know an organization you think should appear here, you can join the facebook group here and participate in the discussion board, or alternatively you can send an email to email@example.com
The Mission of Beat Leukemia is:
1. To help spread important information and facts regarding leukaemia;
2. To identify which are the most reliable institutions in each country where donations can be made to support research and patient assistance;
3. It is NOT the purpose of BL to raise money directly, but it can be rather used as a vehicle to promote fund-raising or volunteering initiatives by its members, or to single out institutions to which donations can be made;
4. Research is global, and leukaemia is a shared enemy. It does not matter where, how, or how much you can contribute; it will still make a difference.
About the creator of BL
Alex Cevenini is a leukaemia survivor. He was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML) on his 24th birthday, the 14th of April 2007. Due to complications arisen, he soon entered coma with little chances to live through. Thanks to the outstanding work of doctors and the hospital’s personnel, and to the prayers of his friends and family, he woke up after about a month.
As of Spring 2008 Alex is just fine and going through a maintenance chemotherapy scheme. He will soon be able to go back to everyday life, but his thought is to all those who were not as lucky. The type of leukaemia that Alex got (AML M3, or APL) was incurable until just five years ago, when some researchers found a cure and spread the good news through their global research networks.
It is estimated that 44,270 men and women will be diagnosed with and 21,710 men and women will die of Leukaemia in 2008 in the U.S. only (respectively 138,530 and 52,910 including Lymphoma and Myeloma figures ->1). Leukaemia is children’s world top killer.
Although research has brought to great achievements, many forms of leukaemia are still not curable or entail therapies that are painful and risky for the patient. Moreover, most of the world’s countries cannot afford the highly expensive drugs needed to beat leukaemia.
We cannot change the past, but we can definitely make a difference in our future. Those who are unconvinced of the benefits of research can look back and acknowledge that until not long ago people died of diseases as innocuous as flu.
BEAT LEUKEMIA is committed to staunch a dangerous killer still on the run; help us make a difference.
1. Source: American Cancer Society (2008). Cancer Facts and Figures 2008, p.4. Available online here.