Nearly 55,000 children and adolescents in the United States currently have blood cancer or are in remission from blood cancer. It’s the most common type of cancer children are diagnosed with, affecting 40% of pediatric cancer patients.
Chemotherapy and other treatments allow many of these children to reach remission and grow into adulthood, but these advances in medicine often have unintended consequences. Cancer treatments have many different side effects, leaving 80% of childhood cancer survivors with chronic health issues resulting from cancer treatment—but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Treatment options are incredibly limited for pediatric cancer patients. Only 5% of cancer drugs are approved for first time use in children, so their families have no other option than to accept side effects from cancer treatments that weren’t developed with them in mind.
We believe a better solution exists, so The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) launched the Dare to Dream project. Our goal? Raising Childhood Cancer Awareness and improving pediatric blood cancer treatments so children who have blood cancer can thrive after their cancer battles—with little to no side effects.
Through partnerships with researchers and healthcare workers, and spearheading groundbreaking pediatric blood cancer treatment research, we’re changing the lives of the littlest blood cancer patients, including six-year-old Cayden.
Cayden has spent much of 2023 fighting his second battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He received CAR-T cell treatment, a life-saving treatment that teaches white blood cells to destroy cancer cells. LLS helped fund the research that developed CAR-T treatment decades before it became available, and is now working to transform care for kids with LLS’s Dare to Dream project.
Learn more about Dare to Dream and read Cayden’s story on LLS’s blog!