She moved to the United States in 1971 from Colombia and now lives in Miramar, Florida.
She and her family were not informed about what the disease was, and LLS, which offers services to clients in both English and Spanish, educated them about what was happening to her. She became more prepared for the process with information about what options she had going forward and what to expect during the treatment process.
LLS also provided financial help during her treatment, for example, reimbursements of medical copayments, and put her in contact with another patient who had a similar diagnosis. This person was someone who she could relate to and who could provide advice and support. “And that was very helpful to me and my family,” she said.
“The mission (of LLS) is to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease, and myeloma, and we do that through research, specifically, as well as we provide services to patients and their families,” Marquez-Dulin said. The organization, which works hard every day to raise awareness, is funded through the generosity of donors.
One of their current campaigns, the “Someday is Today” campaign, stresses that cancer cures are just around the corner. “We’re going to see them in our lifetime and we’re going to see more people like Monica survive,” Marquez-Dulin said.
In the interviews, Marquez-Dulin and Alvarado’s mission was not just blood cancer education, but hope. Even though blood cancers are not preventable, research has caused large advancements in the fight against the diseases in recent years.
Leukemia is typically treated through chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants, Marquez-Dulin said, and Alvarado underwent both of these treatment approaches.“There is hope and that’s what we really want to deliver. And people like Monica really represent that,” she said.
The research done by LLS continues to accomplish great things for those diagnosed with blood cancers. Marquez-Dulin was pleased to report that they had just received approval from the FDA for a new drug to treat leukemia.