The Leukemia & Lymphoma Foundation (LLF) provide financial assistance to disadvantaged residents of Singapore with the high costs relating to the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. Despite improvements in diagnosis and treatment, haematological cancers are still formidable diseases. Unlike most cancers, leukemia and lymphoma tend to affect patients at the prime of their lives and, therefore, can impose heavy economic burdens on both sufferers and their families.
The cost of care is particularly high for those who require expensive long-term treatment, including rehabilitation or long stays in a hospital. Transplants, procurement of bone marrow and cord blood from overseas registries, chemotherapy and specific drugs can also be extremely expensive. A single procurement can cost between S$30,000 to S$50,000. This excludes post-transplant medication, which can add up to substantially more than $100,000. The financial impact on survivors can also be devastating, especially if those affected by the disease are unemployed, do not have adequate health insurance or do not have savings or access to other financial resources. The Foundation rely heavily on public donations. As well as aiming to alleviate the financial burden of those affected with blood-related disorders the charity’s mission is to improve the quality of people’s lives by offering emotional support and therapeutic sessions to help patients achieve the best recovery and outcome possible.
The charity’s most important objective is to help every patient in need with financial assistance. Funds raised at ICAP Charity Day Singapore in 2013 have helped lessen the financial burden for some of the poorest patients affected by this extremely cost-prohibitive and often fatal disease. The majority of the beneficiaries of the programme ICAP supported were male, aged 41-60 years old and suffered from a form of leukemia called Chronic Myeloid Leukemia or Acute Myeloid Leukemia. More than 80% were earning a household income of less than S$4,000 per month. Furthermore, all the patients were referred by government restructured hospitals and required expensive but lifesaving treatment options, such as Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) or Chemotherapy. ICAP’s donation helped to alleviate the cost of transplant and related procedures, including harvesting, paying for a donor’s bill in local or overseas procurement, dual cords and post BMT procedures. The beneficiaries are most grateful for the generous donations they have received towards their treatment – see above a photo montage of Thank You cards, hand-made by patients and their families.
The altruistic benevolence that comes from organizations like ICAP gives all of us hope.Nik Gupta, Chief Operating Officer, LLF
Funds raised also supported therapy sessions for the families of patients, especially children. This included art and craft, terranium workshops and “Scribbles” - a compilation of writing and scribbles penned by patients and their children to help them express their emotions during this difficult phase of their lives. See above an image of “Special Stars” made by a patient while undergoing treatment in the isolation room, she placed the stars in a gift box and dressed it up. Two complimentary Scribbles from the Heart were delivered to the ICAP Singapore office.
The donation from ICAP Singapore to LLF has made a significant difference, not only in terms of the financial contribution ICAP has given, but also the moral support it has represented. ICAP’s support has generated greater awareness of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Foundation in the local community. The LLF Annual Charity Walkathon recently attracted more than 1,000 people to generate better understanding of this dreadful disease, which remains one of the most curable types of cancer.