For Immediate Release
August 23, 2004

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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Endorses Proposition 71

Joins broad coalition determined to bring cures to California

(San Francisco, CA) — The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society today announced its endorsement of Proposition 71 the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative.  Proposition 71, which will appear on the November 2004 ballot, would provide funds needed for the development of lifesaving therapies and cures for diseases that could save the lives of millions of California children and adults and reduce health care costs.     

“The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society believes that research utilizing human embryonic stem cells holds promise for improving treatments for a wide range of diseases, including cancer,” noted Greg Martin, Executive Director of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s San Francisco Chapter.

The Society joins a coalition that already includes Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, families involved in patient advocacy and efforts to cure diseases, and organizations like the California Medical Association, American Nurses Association of California, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Parkinson’s Action Network. 

It’s estimated that 128 million Americans including millions of Californians suffer from diseases and injuries that could be treated or cured with stem cell therapies.  These devastating medical problems affect a child or adult in nearly half of all families. They also result in hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs annually. 

Proposition 71 was developed by a coalition of California families and medical experts determined to close the stem cell research funding gap.  Currently, there is no state level funding for stem cell research and political roadblocks have severely limited federal funding for some of the most promising types of stem cell research. Proposition 71 steps forward to provide the needing funding for lifesaving stem cell research, requires strict fiscal and public accountability, protects and benefits the state budget, and includes strict ethical deadlines. 

More information on Proposition 71 can be obtained at www.YesOn71.com .  

 
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing patient services.  The Society’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.  Seventy-five percent of the Society’s total expenses support research and patient services.

The Society has invested more than $360 million in research, $45 million in 2004 alone. Currently, the Society funds 101 research grants across the country including work at Cal, Stanford and UCSF. Research funded by the Society has led or contributed to advances such as chemotherapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation and new, targeted oral therapies such as Gleevec®.

More than 712,000 Americans have leukemia, Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma or myeloma.  Every five minutes, someone new is diagnosed with blood cancer.  Every 10 minutes, someone dies.

Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children and young adults under the age of 20.  Lymphomas are the most common blood cancers and incidence increases with age.  The survival rate for myeloma is only 32.1 percent.  Incidence is twice as high among African Americans as for all other races.

As a nonprofit, the Society relies on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations. Major, annual fundraising campaigns include Team In Training®, Light The Night® Walks, School & Youth ProgramsSM, and Man & Woman of the Year.

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Paid for by YES on 71: Coalition for Stem Cell Research and Cures, #1260661
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