Even Celebrities Have Leukemia

Yesterday I was reading the news like I always do and read that Kareem Abdul Jabbar is battling Leukemia.  Most people know him as the NBA’s all time leading scorer.  Yesterday he announced that he has a rare form of the cancer called, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia.  Just over 5000 people will be diagnosed with this particular form of cancer each year.  There are approximately 22,500 people living with it in the United States, including Jabbar who is currently in remission.  CML patients all have a chromosomal called the Philadelphia Chromosome (PH).   See the picture below for an explaination of how the chromosome develops.

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia is one of the form of leukemia that can be treated with Gleevec which was developed entirely by funding provided by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  It is reportedly the drug he is taking in order to keep his leukemia under control.  Since it is a chronic form, he will have it for the rest of his life.  The LLS was able to raise the money for the researchers who developed Gleevec by fundraising through programs such as Team in Training.  I cannot emphasize enough how important donating to this cause is.  So far I’ve been able to raise $1300 with your help. Please keep the donations coming!

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