Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
LLS logo .jpg
Founded 1949
Type 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Purpose Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
Headquarters Rye Brook, New York
Area served
United States and Canada.
President and CEO
Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D.
Subsidiaries Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada
Website www.lls.org
Formerly called
Robert Roesler de Villiers Foundation,
Leukemia Society of America

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, founded in 1949, is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting blood cancer. The LLS is: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.[1] LLS funds blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

LLS is headquartered in Rye Brook, and has 56 chapters throughout the United States, and chapters in Canada Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. LLS has five signature fundraising campaigns including Team In Training [2](the largest charity endurance training program in the world), Light The Night (community-based walks that celebrate, honor or remember those touched by cancer),[3] and Student Series [4] (K-12 student service learning program to raise awareness and funds to fight blood cancer). Man & Woman of The Year [5] (an annual competition where candidates compete in honor of children who are local blood cancer survivors) and Leukemia Cup Regatta [6] ( a series of sailing fundraising events). Each chapter also organizes its own fundraising activities.


Originally known as the Robert Roesler de Villiers Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was founded in New York City in 1949 by Rudolph and Antoinette de Villiers after the death of their son Robert from leukemia. The name of the organization was later changed to the Leukemia Society of America in the 1960s, and later to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in 2000 to reflect the organization's focus on all types of blood cancer.[7]


Since 1949, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has invested more than $1.2 billion in cutting-edge blood cancer research, funding nearly all of today's most promising treatments.[8] As there are no means of preventing blood cancers, the LLS research agenda is focused on finding treatments and cures. The organization funds research in areas of unmet medical need and helps to bridge the gap between academic discovery and drug development.

For example, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a daunting, urgent challenge. AML is a rapidly progressing disease that remains one of the most deadly blood cancers, killing more than 10,000 Americans a year. Despite advances in treating other blood cancers, the standard of treatment for AML – a combination of toxic chemotherapies – had changed little over the past four decades. In October 2016, LLS launched its Beat AML Master Clinical Trial, a collaborative precision medicine clinical trial that gives patients targeted therapies based on their genetic markers.

LLS is leading the Beat AML Master Clinical Trial [9] and is the first nonprofit cancer organization to sponsor a clinical trial. The trial consists of a collaboration among multiple leading cancer centers and pharmaceutical companies, a clinical research organization, and a genomics analysis company. The protocol for the trial was developed with input from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Beat AML Master Clinical Trial is expected to eventually include 500 patients and will continue for at least two years at between 15 and 20 clinical sites.

Patient Support[edit]

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the leading source of free, highly specialized blood cancer information, education and support for patients, survivors, families and healthcare professionals. LLS helps patients navigate their cancer treatments and ensures they have access to quality, affordable and coordinated care.

In 1997, LLS created the Information Resource Center (IRC) to provide blood cancer patients, their families and health professionals with accurate, current disease information, resources and support. LLS Blood Cancer Information Specialists are master's level oncology social workers, nurses and health educators. An Information Specialist can assist patients through cancer treatment, financial and social challenges and give accurate, up-to-date disease, treatment and support information.

As a community-based voluntary health organization, LLS has regional and local chapters throughout the United States and Canada to support blood cancer patients in every community.


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Office of Public Policy pursues LLS's mission through advocacy aimed at governmental decisionmakers.

Through LLS’s nationwide grassroots network of more than 100,000 volunteers, the organization advocates for policies at the state and federal level to remove barriers to care for blood cancer patients. These efforts include helping to increase federal research funds, speed the review and approval process of new therapies, and ensure patients are able to access their treatments.

LLS also advocates for public policy positions that accelerate progress toward cures for leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of those with blood cancer, their friends and families.

Fundraising Campaigns[edit]

Through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraising campaigns, participants help support lifesaving research, patient support and education, and advocacy efforts that benefit blood cancer patients. LLS has been a pioneer in creating theme-driven fundraising campaigns, including: Team In Training,[10] the world's first and largest charity endurance sports training program, raising more than $1.5 billion for blood cancer research and patient support since its inception in 1988 and training more than 650,000 teammates.

Light The Night [11] is a powerful campaign bringing light to the darkness of cancer. One million friends, families and co-workers gather together, carrying illuminated lanterns in an inspirational evening walk to celebrate, honor or remember those touched by cancer

Additionally each year, influential leaders from communities across the nation engage in a ten-week fundraising competition to earn the titles of LLS Man & Woman of the Year.[12] The candidates form teams and raise funds for blood cancer research in honor of local children who are blood cancer survivors, the Boy and Girl of the Year. Every dollar raised counts as one vote and the titles are awarded to the man and woman with the most votes at the end of 10 weeks. Top local fundraisers become eligible to win national titles.

Student Series [13] is a service learning, character education, and philanthropy program where students gain the experience of helping thousands of people in their fight against blood cancers. Schools that participate in a Student Series program receive a comprehensive, experiential K-5 STEM curriculum to incorporate into their fundraising campaign. The curriculum gives K-5 students an in-depth look at LLS-funded science, covers key Common Core skills and allows students to learn how the money they raise makes an impact. Additionally, high school students can participate in the Students of The Year [14] campaign, a leadership development program and fundraising competition that benefits LLS. Every dollar raised counts as one vote. The candidates/teams who raise the most money at the end of the seven-week competition earn the title Student(s) of the Year.

Leukemia Cup Regatta [15] is a thrilling series of sailing events that combines the joy of boating with the important task of raising money to cure cancer. At events held at yacht clubs across North America, skippers register their boats and recruit friends and colleagues to help crew and raise funds. Crew members seek donations from friends, family, co-workers and employers to sponsor their boat. More than $62 million has been raised through the Leukemia Cup Regatta series for research and patient support since its start in 1988.

In addition to its five signature campaigns, chapters, individuals and groups raise funds for LLS in a variety of ways. LLS Lifestyle [16] is activity-based fundraising that encourages people to start their own fundraising events for LLS or link fundraising to a local event or activity of their choice.


External links[edit]