Thursday, August 21, 2014

One Knight. Be the Light.

The North Texas Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is partnering an event called Be the Light.  The parents of Zach Guillot, a nine-year-old boy who lost his battle to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) last year, have created this event in memory of their son to raise awareness about new immunotherapy treatments.  LLS has funded Dr. Greenburg, an immunotherapy researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and we encourage you to learn more about the cutting edge research that is being done right now.

Immunotherapy treatment advancements are important to the Guillot family following their son's four year battle against AML.  After two failed bone marrow transplants, they went to Seattle for another bone marrow transplant and learned about a potentially "game-changing" new treatment currently in clinical trials.  It is called adoptive T-cell therapy and is showing incredible promise for the treatment of leukemia, including AML.  Unfortunately, Zach did not have the opportunity to become the first child in this new clinical trial because he died of chemotherapy-related toxicity after this third bone marrow transplant before the treatment was available.

Zach's death sent shockwaves across the North Texas Chapter.  The Saint Valentine's Day Luncheon & Fashion Show was four days after he passed away, and his life and cancer battle was honored onstage by former Spirit of Tom Landry Award winner Zach Rigby.  Zach encouraged everyone in the audience to fight in his memory until cures were found.  A few weeks later, Team In Training participants in both North Texas and Seattle ran in Zach's memory.  Now Zach's family is gearing up to participate in their first Light The Night Walk this Fall.

Consider attending the Be the Light event on October 16th to learn more about the current breakthroughs in cancer treatment and the exciting developments on the horizon.  We are thankful that the Guillots are steadfast in their dedication to working to ensure that another family does not lose a child.  The Guillots and LLS have a common goal - a world without blood cancers.

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