September dedicated to bringing more awareness to blood cancer in central Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The month of September is dedicated to raising awareness for a cancer that often does not get a lot of attention: blood cancer.
This month is focused on the work of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help fight the many different types of blood cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and others.
In this Link to Hope, one Lexington woman turned to spreading awareness after losing her husband to cancer.
If there is one thing April Huff knows, it is the startling statistics surrounding blood cancer.
“Unfortunately, about every three minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer,” said April Huff.
And its numbers like those that make the red ribbons hanging outside the Markey Cancer Center in Lexington even more important.
They also draw attention to a group helping those battling blood cancer, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“We have given a billion dollars to research, and that is just really groundbreaking for a cancer organization,” said Huff.
To Huff, who works with LLS, the ribbons she helped put out are personal.
In March of 2020, Huff and her husband Steven were adjusting to life as new parents. When her daughter was three months old, their life changed.
“He was a huge golfer and went on his first golf trip since our daughter was born and just came home and said I wasn’t feeling quite right on the trip,” said Huff.
Blood tests, several doctors’ appointments and a trip to the University of Kentucky emergency room would later determine her husband Steven had acute myeloid leukemia.
“I don’t even think I knew of anybody closely that had cancer before my husband was diagnosed with leukemia,” said Huff.
Huff’s husband endured a 17-month-long battle with cancer, sadly passing away at the age of 33.
His story is what led Huff to work for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and its mission of helping provide $1.7 million just to central Kentucky last year.
“And that’s everything from gas cards, helping people pay their mortgage, their co-pays, and we want to be able to continue to do things like that for patients and their families,” said Huff.
It is also a place Huff feels useful. This month, she’s spent time giving back to those who work in Hematology at UK, and every day is about being a link to hope, helping other families navigate their own blood cancer journey.
“Meeting other people and seeing all of the benefits that we have given them really motivated me and inspired me to want to make a difference and create the legacy for Steven, my husband, that he would be proud of,” said Huff.
To contact the local chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, you can email April Huff at April.Huff@lls.org, or for more personalized disease, treatment, or support information, you can call the Information Resource Center at 1-800-955-4572.
Copyright 2023 WKYT. All rights reserved.