At the end of 2019, our 70th year, all of us at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) were energized by our decades of success and eager to forge ahead with our mission. We never imagined the year that lay ahead.
When the global pandemic arrived in the United States in March 2020, LLS promptly realized that the remainder of the year would not be “business as usual.” We knew that blood cancer patients would likely be especially vulnerable to COVID-19. We were concerned how patients would manage not only their health, but the financial challenges of treatment, should they be economically compromised by the pandemic. We evaluated how we could safely conduct business and how COVID-19 would challenge our employees, volunteers, donors, researchers, healthcare professionals, and communities.
In the spirit of our founders, Rudolph and Antoinette Roesler de Villiers, and their relentless attempt to find cures for the 16-year-old son they lost to leukemia, we redoubled our efforts on behalf of the 1.3 million Americans living with—or in remission from—blood cancer.
Rather than succumb to the year’s challenges, we pledged to remain unstoppable.
Rudolph and Antoinette Roesler de Villiers founded LLS in 1949 after losing their 16-year-old son Robbie to leukemia. Determined to spare other families the devastating loss of a child, the de Villiers set out to transform cancer treatment and care. As an organization founded by a family for families, our vision is rooted firmly in the de Villiers’ drive to create a world without blood cancer.
This year, LLS celebrated our 70th anniversary. Thanks to generations of patients, families, volunteers, researchers, and supporters, we are a global leader in the fight to end cancer today. From launching The LLS Children’s Initiative to take on children’s cancer to connecting patients to clinical trials, LLS is committed to putting patients and families first.
With your support, we press on with unwavering dedication.
We invite you to read our 2020 story. You will learn how we...
- … continued to support breakthrough research in precision medicine and immunotherapy, including CAR-T cell therapy.
- … pivoted in real time to conduct business safely and virtually.
- … mobilized to provide new patient education and support—leveraging our online capabilities—to help families cope in this year of particular need.
- … forged ahead with bold advocacy efforts at the national and state level to stand up for patients during the pandemic.
- … achieved impressive strides with our groundbreaking Children’s Initiative, including the advancement of the milestone LLS PedAL clinical trial.
- … rallied our community around our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across every aspect of our organization and lifesaving work.
- … saluted our partners: donors, scientists, physicians, other healthcare professionals, corporations, and volunteers who worked with us to keep our momentum going.
We are buoyed by our success during this challenging year and we’re thankful to all those who helped. See a listing of our incredible supporters.
But we know the future holds more work for us as we aim to increase survival rates across all blood cancers and advance clinical trials for new and breakthrough treatments. We believe cancer is curable and with the continued help and generosity of our supporters, we pledge to always remain… unstoppable.