PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Opinions & Reports from Dr. Michael Keating
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
As we enter this holiday season “the gift that keeps on giving” will be repeated in many charitable appeals. It is used as a means to provide a sense of security for people, knowing that their small deed can have a large impact when given to the right organization. There are many gifts that we receive which continue to enrich us. We have the gift of love from parents, spouses and children, and we continuously pass that gift on to the next generation. Thoughtful gifts given to us on special occasions create memories and feelings of happiness that cannot be replaced. A gift to CLL Global will truly be a gift that keeps on giving.
You may have read in the Summer 2010 Momentum that CLL Global started from a gift: a challenge to see if such a foundation could be set up. Without the gift of that challenge nothing would have happened. When I shared this challenge with patients and their families, they enthusiastically embraced the thought that they could give their time, talent and resources to set up the foundation and guide us through the awkward phase of not knowing how to start and run a non-profit.
You probably know by now that CLL Global is unique. We are a small organization with a global impact because we fund CLL research wherever it happens to excel. There are many examples of this. The U.S./European Alliance promotes interaction between U.S. scientists and European scientists who are all working toward the same goal. The Israeli CLL Research Consortium and the Australian CLL Research Consortium have been provided start-up funds for CLL research from CLL Global.
This approach of extending the gift has enabled investigators to enrich the lives of patients and provide added knowledge to physicians, scientists and nurses. Additionally, many other institutions are able to expand their CLL programs, discover important concepts and apply new treatments. There is no visible end to the rippling out of the original gifts which are now benefiting many around the world.
The world is changing. This is a time of global uncertainty. People want to ensure that they will be financially secure and that the same security can be provided to their families. Gifting has been put on the backburner of people’s priorities. This is illustrated by the difficult times most not-for-profit foundations are experiencing. The generosity of the CLL patient community has astounded me during this difficult time. CLL Global is still able to provide the funds needed to expand activities in CLL research. This has led to new avenues of diagnosis and treatment which were never available before.
CLL can be considered a disease under siege. It is being attacked from all sides. There are new initiatives which have the promise to significantly alter treatment. There is hope that the lives of patients can be prolonged with safe, non-toxic protocols that are very selective in killing off the leukemic cells and leave the patient fully functional.
The gift which we aim to give is the cure of CLL. It will be a gift for future generations of those diagnosed with CLL. It will be a gift to the children and relatives of patients who have the misfortune of being in the familial CLL group. It will be a gift of hope, that if CLL can be cured, so can other cancers. I want it to be a gift to the patients that are living with CLL at the present time. The model is right, the results are phenomenal and the cure is at hand. Let’s give the world the gift of curing CLL.