Las Vegas Sun

November 14, 2018

Currently: 67° — Complete forecast

Findlay Good Works:

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society a guiding light to cancer patients for decades

Image

Wade Vandervort

Elizabeth Hunterton is executive director of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

What does your organization do? The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is at the forefront of the fight to cure cancer. We are the largest nonprofit dedicated to creating a world without blood cancers. Since 1949, we’ve invested more than $1.2 billion in groundbreaking research, pioneering many of today’s most innovative approaches. We offer co-pay assistance, travel assistance and complimentary support groups, educational materials, nutrition counseling and an information resource center to patients and their families.

Elizabeth Hunterton, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

• Title: Executive Director

• Agency address: 6280 S. Valley View Blvd., Suite 342, 89118

• Agency phone number: 702-436-4220

• Agency website: lls.org/snv

• Hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

When and why was it established? In 1949, Rudolph and Antoinette Roesler de Villiers (who lost their teenage son, Robert, to leukemia in 1944) established the first incarnation of what became the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The effect was felt right away, and the 1950s and 1960s experienced major treatment advances that were revolutionary. Since its founding, LLS has brought survival rates from less that 10 percent to more than 90 percent in some diagnoses.

Who are its clients today? We serve those who’ve been diagnosed with blood cancers, and we support their families and caregivers as well.

What are its current initiatives or goals? LLS has four main initiatives: beating acute myeloid leukemia; precision medicine; immunotherapy; and we will be spearheading a pediatric initiative in 2019. We have one goal: a world without blood cancer.

What is Good Works?

Good Works is a twice-monthly series in Las Vegas Weekly in which we highlight the efforts of nonprofit groups that are making a difference in our community. You can check out the good work of more organizations by visiting facebook.com/FindlayAutoGroup.

What services might the community not know about? We provide free information, education and support services for those who are affected by blood cancer. We fight for lifesaving policy changes at the state and federal level to ensure access to quality affordable, coordinated care. We are committed to working tirelessly toward our mission every single day until we find a cure. We focus on three key areas: research, education and support, and policy and advocacy.

What is the greatest success you’ve been a part of? This past year, we provided almost $670,000 to 328 local patients and families, which is a 24 percent year-over-year increase. This demonstrates that what we’re doing is working, and we’re able to help more Southern Nevadans during their cancer journey.

What can people do to get involved in the cause you serve? Volunteer and join us at Light the Night on November 3 at CSN-Charleston Campus. Visit lls.org/snv for more opportunities.

What can Southern Nevadans do to improve our community in general? Southern Nevadans can improve our community by continuing to be Vegas Strong. In the wake of our city’s darkest hour, its residents couldn’t have shined brighter, and as long as we remain united toward the common goal of improving our community, the possibilities are endless.

Where do you see your organization in five years? LLS is destined for greatness, because of the incredible community partners we have, such as Findlay Automotive Group, Walgreens, Wynn Resorts, Comprehensive Cancer and many others. I believe in five years, we’ll be spearheading efforts to revolutionize treatments after having brought many new advancements to the forefront, leading the way for new treatments in diagnoses that haven’t experienced advancements in years, celebrating significantly higher survival rates in many diagnoses, and overseeing additional clinical master trials. There’s never a good time to have cancer, but it’s a phenomenal time to be leading the fight against it.

This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.