Education is a key in so many ways to life, we learn, we grow, we find solutions or work towards those answers we need.

Today is a day where just a few moments of time to educate yourself and others could help make a big difference in keeping a conversation growing as we hope and pray for a cure to cancer.

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Today is Acute Myeloid Leukemia World Awareness Day.

On this day and on the days prior to today and after today, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) continues to work on supporting those with these blood cancers and building for a better today and tomorrow for them and their families.

AML is one of the deadliest blood cancers, LLS said, adding that 11,000 Americans each year pass away from this terrible disease.

Today, LLS is bringing extra attention to their mission of bringing treatment and care to those with AML.

"For leukemia patients, the five-year survival rate has quadrupled since the 1960s due to LLS’s longstanding investment in scientific research. However, when it comes to AML, the most common form of leukemia in adults, only one in four people survive five years after diagnosis. LLS is changing the future for AML patients by leveraging the promise of science through its groundbreaking research and collaborative efforts including: · Beat AML Master Clinical Trial, the first collaborative precision medicine clinical trial for blood cancer," LLS said in a statement.

They are working on something now too, a Therapy Acceleration Program and their LLS PedAL is going to be the first global precision medicine clinical trial for children with relapsed acute leukemia.

Right now, they're working on setting up a trial.

“At the heart of our efforts is our Beat AML Master Clinical Trial, the first cancer clinical trial sponsored by a nonprofit health organization,” Jana Boyer, LLS New Jersey Region executive director, said in a statement. “LLS has brought together the best and brightest minds across the cancer ecosystem, including three world-renowned scientists leading the trial. Together with our volunteers, patients, researchers, healthcare professionals, and supporters, LLS is changing the future for AML patients.”

While today is marked the official awareness today, that doesn't mean the awareness stops today, it must continue, education must continue and the effort and energy to help those with Leukemia must continue.

There's an event coming up on May 15, called 'Big Climb New Jersey', run, virtually this year, by the LLS New Jersey Region, with Kristen Pappas, Senior Vice President of Property Management & Construction of ONYX Equities LLC, helping oversee the 2nd annual event.

“I am honored to serve as the Leadership Chair and look forward to encouraging local businesses and corporations to join me in supporting LLS by participating in Big Climb,” Pappas said in a statement.

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Kristen will be climbing this year to honor her late mother Betty who passed away following her battle with Myeloma five-years ago.

Her goal is to raise $100,000 for LLS and the Big Climb.

“Together, we are taking steps to end cancer,” Pappas said.

Over time, LLS said the've investing nearly $1.4 billion in cutting edge research but more work needs to be done.

“When a loved one hears the words “you have cancer,” it is one of the darkest moments in your life,” Boyer said. “At Big Climb, it is our aim to Step Up to Take Cancer Down through research and cures and reinforce the urgent need to raise more funds to fight cancer.”

You can register for Big Climb New Jersey at, email or call 908.956.6614.

Meanwhile, 21-year old Molly Gorczyca, a Rowan University student who was diagnosed with AML nearly two years ago, has been nominated as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Honored Hero for the New Jersey Big Climb.

(Photo Courtesy: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society)
(Photo Courtesy: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society)

Gorczyca who played field hockey, while majoring in Communications had to leave school to receive treatment.

A lung infection led to her being hospitalized for 55 days, undergoing four rounds of chemotherapy before her medical team found a gene mutation called FLT-3, LLS said, which resulted in a bone marrow transplant.

“My brother was a 100% DNA match,” Gorczyca said in a statement. “He selflessly donated his marrow to save my life, and after three months of isolation I was able to go home. I still go back to get blood draws, scans, and biopsies to make sure it has not come back, but I’ve passed my one-year post-transplant check-up with no traces of Leukemia.”

Gorczyca is back at school, now in her senior year of college and is playing field hockey and added a second major and is hoping you'll join her in the Big Climb.

“I started the team AML Warriors to not only represent my fight, but also my boyfriend Ryan who lost his fight with cancer this past March,” Gorczyca said.

Her goal is to raise $10,000.

You can join Molly’s team, AML Warriors, or form your own by calling the New Jersey Chapter at 908.956.6614, email, or visit

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