Be part of Cancer Research Today for a Cancer-Free Tomorrow!
Cancer is a word heard too often here at LifeShare Blood Centers and in our community. That is why we are fighting back against this disease with the American Cancer Society by encouraging you to consider taking part in the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).
Knowing the importance of cancer research, LifeShare has agreed to be a promotional partner for the study in the North Louisiana area. We are extending this message to encourage everyone in the area to be a Community Champion and/or enroll in the study.
The ultimate goal of CPS-3 is to enroll men and women from various racial/ethnic backgrounds from across the U.S. to participate in a study that will help researches better understand the lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer and will save lives.
American Cancer Society studies began in the 1950s and involved hundreds of thousands of volunteer participants. These studies have led to discoveries such as the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer and the role obesity plays in the risk of several cancers. The new CPS-3 will help researchers build on evidence from previous studies, and help bring us closer to eliminating cancer as a major health burden for this and future generations.
To enroll in the study you must be between the ages of 30 and 65 and have never been diagnosed with cancer. Enrollment will be available during the week of July 23 – 27 at these community
Participating is easy and involves the following steps:
• Visit www.cps3northla.org to schedule your appointment. Appointments will take place during July 23-27.
• After scheduling your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions to go online and complete the comprehensive survey which will ask for detailed information on lifestyle, behavioral, and other factors related to health.
• At your appointment, you will be asked to sign an informed consent form, complete a short survey, and provide a waist measure and a small blood sample (similar to a doctor’s visit). The blood sample will be taken by a certified, trained phlebotomist.
• At home, you will be asked to complete mailed surveys every few years over the next 20-30 years to update lifestyle, medical, and behavioral information.
Your appointment should last 20-30 minutes. Completing the comprehensive survey online prior to your appointment will take approximately 45-60 minutes. All personal information and any individual results of blood analyses that may be performed will be kept strictly confidential by CPS-3 research staff. There will be no cost to you to participate.
If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements, your significant participation comes from telling everyone you know about this opportunity. Anyone can become a Community Champion by registering online and helping others sign up for the study.
For more information about CPS-3, please visit cancer.org/cps3, email
or call toll-free 1.888.604.5888. Remember, you can schedule your appointment today at www.cps3northla.org.
This is our chance to fight back against a disease that takes too much. I hope you will take part in this historic study and share this message with all those you know who want to join in this fight.
Blood Makes a Difference
Dantrell K. Howard was first diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia at 8 years old by her sister who was going to school during that time to become a phlebotomist. “We always wondered why I would get so lethargic as a kid. I would get real bad stomach aches and fever,” says Dantrell. After being diagnosed, Dantrell began receiving treatment at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport; LifeShare, through local donors, is the exclusive supplier of blood to LSUMC – Shreveport. Blood and exchange transfusions help Dantrell manage this disease and improve her quality of life. “After receiving blood,” Dantrell says, “I’m ready to do whatever. I have so much energy.”
For those that aren’t familiar with Sickle Cell Disease, it is a genetic disorder that affects the red blood cells, which use a protein called hemoglobin to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Normally, red blood cells are round and flexible so they can travel freely through narrow blood vessels. Patients with this disease have sickle-shaped red blood cells which often get stuck in blood vessels; this can cause episodes of pain called “Sickle crisies,” delayed growth, strokes, jaundice and more.
Dantrell, 38 years old now, has had to deal with some of these effects herself. She had to have an artificial hip put in because of Avascular Necrosis, a disease where bone tissue dies due to a lack of blood supply, common in Sickle Cell patients. A minor stroke has also caused her to lose some feeling in her face.
“Blood for this disease is very important. There’s so much pain that comes with this disease. If you don’t have the blood, you can’t get rid of the pain,” says Dantrell. Of the 10 blood transfusions and 3 exchange transfusions that Dantrell has gone through, she has used approximately 45 pints of blood. Because multiple transfusions have created the need for very specialized matching of the blood donor, she had to wait two weeks for her last transfusion because there were no donors available. “It’s often very hard when waiting on the blood for my surgeries and transfusions,” she says.
Watching Dantrell fight through this disease has caused her husband and many of her family members to become regular blood donors. “I just want to encourage people to give,” says Dantrell, “because the blood does make a difference.”
In the United States, Sickle Cell Disease most commonly affects African-Americans. About 1 out of every 500 African-American babies born in the United States has this disease. Additionally, because they are transfused so often, many Sickle Cell patients produce antibodies against red blood cells which are unlike their own. Once these antibodies are produced, the patient must receive blood specifically typed, or antigen-matched, to prevent a reaction with antibodies present. When attempting to find antigen-matched blood, the odds are often significantly increased by screening donors of the same ethnicity as the patient. In some cases, matched blood is almost impossible to find in donors of another race. Therefore, with some Sickle Cell patients, the rare blood types they need are only found in African-Americans. This is why it is important to Sickle Cell patients for the African-American population to donate blood. By becoming a regular blood donor, you are helping ensure those like Dantrell who depend on antigen-matched, blood will not have to wait for it- especially when there are plenty of us in the community who can provide it.
In Honor and Memory of I. Sackman "Sack" Marx
July 3, 1920 - March 26, 2013
Serving his country and community throughout his life, LifeShare Blood Centers honors I. Sackman “Sack” Marx.
A decorated war hero, pilot and World War II concentration camp survivor, Mr. Marx became a regular blood donor in the 1940s as a result of his own life being saved. He continued to give much of himself and his resources to support the community’s blood center through 2012.
As president of the steering committee garnering community support and financial contributions, Mr. Marx was instrumental in opening the Monroe location of the Louisiana Blood Center, now LifeShare Blood Centers, in 1979. Later, he spearheaded a successful capital campaign to relocate and expand Monroe’s blood center facility to meet the growing needs of blood products and services to the medical facilities of northeast Louisiana and south Arkansas.
In honor of Mr. Marx’s service to LifeShare a scholarship fund was established in 1983 with the seed money raised to bring a local independent community blood center to
Mr. Marx served as a volunteer member of the Board of Trustees and a charter member of the Monroe Civic Advisory Council for LifeShare Blood Centers and was honored with the LifeShare Blood Centers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 in recognition of his many generous contributions.
We, at LifeShare Blood Centers, will never forget I. Sackman “Sack” Marx for his service to our country and to the communities and patients we serve.
In Honor and Memory of Marvin H. Easley
Dec. 13, 1948 - Feb. 9, 2013
The unexpected news of Marvin Easley’s passing brings with it a combination of sorrowful thoughts and grateful memories at LifeShare Blood Centers. An accomplished professional, Mr. Easley shared his talents with LifeShare Blood Centers through countless hours of volunteer service.
Serving as a member of the Board of Trustees since 1979, the year the Alexandria center was opened; Mr. Easley devoted countless hours to projects that contributed to the organization’s growth into 79 parishes and counties throughout a three-state area.
At LifeShare Blood Centers, we maintain a great respect and appreciation for his contributions and participation in many endeavors, including: a merger, numerous center openings, building projects, and his willingness to assist, whenever called upon, in various projects throughout these decades.
We honor Marvin H. Easley and the service to his community and many others through his role as:
LifeShare Blood Centers, Board of Trustees Member and Finance Committee Chair, since 1979
LifeShare Blood Centers, Board of Trustees Chairman
LifeShare Blood Centers, Board of Trustees Audit Committee Chair
LifeShare Blood Centers, Civic Advisory Council Member
Blood Center Properties, Chairman and Board Member
LifeShare Blood Centers Foundation, Board Member
Our deepest appreciation for the contributions Marvin H. Easley gave to LifeShare Blood Centers.
LifeShare Board members cut the ribbon at the new
LBC-Alexandria Center is 2006.
Marvin Easley, Board Member and
Margaret Wallace, CEO, LifeShare Blood Centers
Louisiana Blood Centers 50th Anniversary Celebration, Shreveport, La.
A Gift that Truly Matters
It’s sometimes easy for us to get lost in the true meaning of the holiday season. We spend so much time worrying about what we should get those around us; we forget that others are worrying about the health of their loved ones and what we can do for them this time of year.
One gift we can be grateful for in this country is the safe and available blood supply provided by volunteer blood donors.
When you remember this blessing of resources to have a safe and adequate blood supply, do not forget that you are an integral part of it. Participation from each member in the community is key to maintaining this resource, not only for those who need it now, but for us to have available in times of crisis.
Here at LifeShare Blood Centers, we give thanks for the selfless blood donors who give not for material rewards, but out of a sense of responsibility for others in their community. We hope that in this busy holiday season others will give thanks for this simple gift of life and remember their part and responsibility in having this blessing. The need for blood donations is always present, and thanks to donors we can be thankful this gift is available to us when we need it.
Marrow Match Needed to Save Teen's Life
Today I had the opportunity to meet two very special and strong ladies. I would like to introduce them to you.
Michelle Johnson is the mother of four girls. Her daughter, Jamaya is battling cancer for the third time. Through two years of treatments at St. Jude’s, these ladies have endured more than many of us will during a lifetime. Countless blood and platelet transfusions along with her medical treatments put her in remission twice. But, this time her daughter is in need of a marrow donor and finding a match may be one of the most difficult tasks they’ve faced yet. Because finding a match isn’t up to them, they must rely on others to register as a marrow donor and be willing to give.
But Michelle didn’t come to complain, cry or gain sympathy. Even with this news, I walked in the room today to find Michelle bright, energetic, strong and determined; and Jamaya, a sweet, soft-spoken young lady came with a letter she’s allowed us to share:
“My name is Jamaya Johnson. I have had cancer three times in the last two years and it’s really been hard on my family and I. We have been trying to put together a bone marrow drive and we’ve been struggling to do that. I have three sisters Jasmine, Janae, and Jayana . . . Jayana is 2, Janae is 17, and Jasmine is 19. Me, myself, and I am 14.
We have to leave my sisters behind a lot and that’s not good for Jayana I feel, but we have to do it. . . But anyways, I have mixed cellular Hodgkin's Lymphoma and it’s a rare cancer that usually comes in boys and it just so happens that I have it.
When I found out I had cancer again I didn’t want to fight, but I told my mother that I wouldn’t talk like that and I would fight so that’s what I’m doing now. Every day I wake up to love my sisters, mostly Jasmine. Her and my mother keep me going. But I just want to do better, not for myself but for my family.
Most of the time I’m scared I’m not going to wake up the next morning. So I pray every night that if I don’t, for my family to have a better life. We haven’t done a fundraiser before because we haven’t needed them, but this time we really need help.
My mother mostly works doubles to make money and sometimes still doesn’t have enough to do what she really needs to do. I watch my mother break her back working every night to try and keep a roof over our heads. She doesn’t even complain about it. I wish I could just take my mother out of her work and work for her. On top of all this, we are still trying.”
We are working with Michelle on a community-wide Marrow Registry Drive, Nov. 24. To register, you use a Q-tip-like swab to wipe the inside of your cheek and fill out paperwork to be tested. A marrow donor will NOT need to have surgery to donate to her. Most often marrow matches are found in someone with the same ethnic background. The Johnsons are asking anyone eligible to come register (see marrow registration eligibility guidelines here). They are also seeking additional donations and sponsors for the Marrow Drive. If you cannot register on Nov. 24, you can come to a LifeShare Blood Centers during open hours. The process takes less than 10 minutes.
KSLA visited with Jamaya last week. Click the link to see her story. Jamaya's story