Microscope | April 2018

Microscope masthead featuring sisters and friends

image of Christopher Oakes, Ph.D.

Christopher Oakes, Ph.D.

Video: Epigenetics in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

Christopher Oakes, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, is featured in a video produced by the Video Journal of Hematological Oncology discussing chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In the video he described how new sequencing techniques have opened up the world of CLL research in ways not possible before. See the video here.

The Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF) funded a research project of Dr. Oakes' in 2016 titled The Role of Early Growth Response (EGR) in Establishing a Malignant Epigenetic Program in CLL. A description of that project can be found here. A list of current research projects being funded by the LRF can be found on the LRF website.



image of Road to a Cure invite card with Dr. Kline image

Register Now for Road to a Cure

Seats are filling fast for the 2nd Annual Road to a Cure, which will take place on Wednesday, May 2 at the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook, Ill. Click here to register now. Admission to the program is free and refreshments will be served.

The featured speaker is Justin Kline, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago. Doctor Kline will present on the latest research developments in lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In addition, he will discuss important aspects of treatments as well as advances that will directly impact patient care. The LRF funded Dr. Kline’s research in 2010 and details on that project can be found here.

This program made possible in part by the David Wortman Memorial Fund.

image of Treatment Options Conference presenter

The Latest in Blood Cancer Research and Treatments

Have you reserved your seat for the 14th Annual Treatment Options for Blood Cancer Patients Conference? Admission to the Conference is free and it's a groundbreaking opportunity for patients, family members and caregivers to learn about the latest advances in blood cancer research, treatment and care from leaders in the field. Click here to register now.

The Conference takes place on Saturday, May 19 from 7:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Lisle in Lisle, Ill. Admission, parking, a continental breakfast and lunch are provided on a complimentary basis.

image of estate planning document

A Gift of Hope

Blood cancer research breakthroughs often take years, if not decades, of painstaking work. The LRF funds promising blood cancer research that accelerates the development of new treatments and therapies. For many young blood cancer researchers, the award they receive from the LRF is the seed money that funds real innovation. Their work - discovering new treatments, prevention, and early detection - moves us closer to a world free from the fear of blood cancer.

By including the LRF in your estate plans, your legacy gift supports this important work and may be the key to a cure for generations. Your legacy gift might be the one that funds a breakthrough in blood cancer treatment.

Your attorney or financial advisor can work with you to include the LRF in your estate plans. No matter which planned giving option you choose, you will be honored through recognition on our website, newsletters, and a special reception at the Annual Medical Awards Luncheon. If you would rather not receive public recognition, please let us know.

For more information on how you can provide a legacy gift, please contact Cindy Kane by email at Cindy@LRFmail.org, call 847.424.0600, or see our brochure.

Image of Rick and Tina of #TeamTina

Rick and Tina 

Why Run, Walk, or Volunteer

Many participants in the 24th Annual ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk make the effort for more than just exercise in Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park. Just looking at the crowd one can see hundreds of reasons represented on the T-shirts worn by teams, representing family members and friends who are blood cancer patients or survivors and sometimes in memory of a loved one.

Need some motivation to register to run, walk or volunteer at the ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk on Thursday, June 21? Read this story about #TeamTina. Then click the register button at the top of that page.


image of Meghan and John Healy

Meghan and John Healy

The Patient in Room Seven

Meghan Healy’s experience with leukemia began with a visit to the emergency room for a paper cut. There was pain and extreme swelling but no thought of anything worse. Two months later, she went to the doctor.

“I was in a lot of pain and was feeling tired all the time before I went to see a doctor for the first time. My main symptom was an extremely sore throat. I was diagnosed with fungal esophagitis and fungal laryngitis. The antibiotics just weren’t working and nothing would relieve the pain. After about a month, I went to the emergency room again. I was admitted to room seven at the hospital and that is where I was diagnosed with leukemia. The next day I was moved to a bigger hospital where I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and also found out that I needed a stem cell transplant. Chemotherapy started immediately.

In the months leading up to my stem cell transplant, I went through five rounds of chemo, during which I suffered every rare side effect my doctors had known. After much anticipation, I was lucky to find a stem cell match in a 27-year-old man from Germany, same age as I was, who was more than willing to follow through with the procedure. The transplant went fine and I was sent home for a month. And then the pneumonia set in. Treatment for the pneumonia required a medically-induced coma, during which time I came down with two more strains of pneumonia. I spent a total of two months in the coma. There was a month of recovery from the medically-induced coma in the ICU, followed by a month at a rehabilitation facility in Chicago, where I had physical, occupational and speech therapy before I could go home for good.”

How did you become aware of the LRF?

“One of my friends from high school has an uncle who works for the LRF. We got in contact with the LRF right away and they were very helpful from the start. I signed up for the Patient Financial Assistance Program (PFAP) and that program has been wonderful. I’m currently taking 26 medications per day. The LRF’s PFAP has been extremely helpful with that.

With the help of our dear friends at our two favorite local restaurants, my mother and father, John and Moe (Maureen) Healy, have held several events to help raise funds and awareness. So far we’ve done a golf outing and a Super Bowl party with help from the Valley Lodge Restaurant and Tavern and a couple of celebrity bartender events at the Hackney’s on Harms restaurant, both in Glenview, Ill. We’ve also done a bone marrow drive and we found six matches for other patients in that one drive.”

Would you recommend the LRF to others?

“Absolutely and I have already done so. I’m part of a discussion group of social workers, nurses, and patients who are dealing with graft versus host disease and I’ve told them all about the LRF and how helpful they’ve been to me and my family and made sure they know about resources available at the LRF. Most of them were already aware of the LRF but it’s still good to spread the word. I was really touched when I got a call from the LRF one day just to check up on me and see how I was doing. It’s nice to know that an organization that helps patients really does care for them.”

Are there any other insights you would like to share?

“Yes. I don’t want people to think that cancer has been all bad. In fact I think that the experience has been one of the more enriching parts of my life in a peculiar way. I had much love and support around me. My whole family rallied around me and my friends have been there for me. I’ve tried to keep a positive attitude throughout the journey. I had great support from the doctors and nurses around me and though painful, it really has been enlightening. I learned how strong I am by going through this.

My advice to others would be to stay positive. It can save your life. And always say thank you to your nurses.”



April 7
Joey's Angels Chapter
Concert for Joey


APRIL 14, 21 and 28
Phillip "Poppie" Gaston Chapter
Bowl for the Cure


May 2
2nd Annual Road to a Cure


May 6

Jessica Shayne Magid "Chai" Chapter

Zumbathon for LRF


May 19
Treatment Options for
Blood Cancer Patients Conference


May 19
Phillip "Poppie" Gaston Chapter
The Best of Music Benefit Concert

June 2
Donald Davidson-Alan Brin
Memorial Chapter
Raffle for Research

June  9
John & Tony's All Day Fundraiser
with the Nicholas Orjuela "Little Lefty" Memorial Chapter

June 21
ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk

August 3-5
Kingfish Shootout
Carrabelle, Florida

August 10
Joey's Angels Chapter
17th Angels in the Fairway Golf Outing


Visit our website to view more upcoming events.

We will continue to keep you apprised of our noteworthy achievements.