Friday Frontline: May 24, 2019


From World Blood Cancer Day to today’s top performers fundraising for lifesaving research, here’s what’s making headlines in the cancer space this week.

May 28 is recognized as World Blood Cancer Day. World Blood Cancer Day is an annual day of awareness and encouragement for the fight against blood cancer, according to a press release by DKMS, an international nonprofit that founded World Blood Cancer Day in 2014. The day encourages registration to the stem cell registry and demonstrates support for those battling blood cancers like leukemia and other blood-related illnesses.

“Many people don’t know that registering only takes a couple of minutes and is less invasive than donating blood. Drives are regularly held in communities around the country or free kits can be sent via mail by visiting The simple swab of a cheek can identify a match,” the non-profit said.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) hosted its annual Hot Pink Party on its 25-year anniversary on May 15. Celebrities like Gucci Westman, Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Wang, Carolyn Murphy and Grace Elizabeth turned out for the Celebration of Life party in New York City last week for an evening of cancer advocacy, entertainment and funding for lifesaving research.

Canadian musician David Foster honored his sister, a cancer survivor, at the fundraiser. “We all must be vigilant, that’s just the best reason I’m here, but I’m here for not just my family — for every family,” said Foster. Actress Carly Hughes also talked about her family history of breast cancer and thanked the BCRF for its work.

David Foster honored his survivor sister at the Hot Pink Party. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, Arizona.

Tracyleanne Jefford, 35, from ITV’s 2017 talent show X Factor has received a diagnosis of skin cancer and will be undergoing an operation. The Mirror reported the singer has basal cell carcinoma, a common type of skin cancer that can cause disfigurement if left untreated. In the operation, she will need to have some of her nose removed and rebuilt.

The prognosis is hopeful for Jefford: “This the most common type of skin cancer. About eight out of 10 skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas (also called basal cell cancers),” according to the American Cancer Society. “These cancers usually develop on sun-exposed areas, especially the head and neck. These cancers tend to grow slowly. It’s very rare for a basal cell cancer to spread to other parts of the body. But if a basal cell cancer is left untreated, it can grow into nearby areas and invade the bone or other tissues beneath the skin.”

Cancer survivors and local communities will gather to celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day® on Sunday, June 2, as part of the 32nd annual Celebration of Life. On June 2, 2019, “Communities around the world will unite to recognize … cancer survivors and to raise awareness of the challenges of cancer survivorship,” according to a National Cancer Survivors Day® Foundation press release.

“Hundreds of cities across the US and abroad will hold celebrations on this day to acknowledge the cancer survivors in their community, to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face because of their disease, and — most importantly – to celebrate life,” the foundation said.

Individuals can find foundation to join the celebration by visiting a local cancer treatment center, hospital or American Cancer Society office. People may also host an even using the resources available through the National Cancer Survivors Day® website,

Photo from @cancersurvivorday Instagram.

CNN shared the speech of a valedictorian who couldn’t attend his high school graduation, as his father had just passed away from metastatic bladder cancer. Elbie Seibert, the 2019 valedictorian at Columbia High School in Nampa, Idaho, will attend Brown University in the fall on a full-ride scholarship. In “The speech I couldn't give due to my dad's death,” Seibert shares four major lessons he has learned from coping with his father’s illness over the past year. The student acted as a caregiver to his father, who chose providing for his family over obtaining the necessary medical care to treat his disease.

“Shortly after my father's diagnosis, he told me that he had been urinating blood for over a month but was forced to ignore it because he could not afford a doctor's visit,” said Seibert’s valedictorian speech. “As a janitor with a family, he struggled to pay for his employer's health care plan and did not have sufficient coverage for his needs. Now, he's gone, and my family will live with that cost for the rest of our lives.”

“I ask you to never ignore the warning signs -- it could cost you your life or the life of a loved one,” Seibert added.

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