The Minnesota Vikings recently disclosed that Kenechi Udeze, a DE for the Vikings has been diagnosed with Leukemia. Udeze will be 25 in March. At this time, they have not released what type of leukemia Udeze has.
I am acutely aware of how deadly this disease can be.My cousin passed away at 14 from leukemia. If caught in time, the remission rate is high. With various treatments and procedures and the advances made every day in research, many adults and children live many years in remission and have wonderful and fullfilling lives. Sadly, many victims, far too many of them children under age 10, succumb either because the disease is too far advanced or advancing more rapidly than normal or because no bone marrow match can be found. Although mostly seen in adults over 60, leukemia can strike anyone anytime. There are 4 types of Leukemia. The most common among children is ALL or Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. This disease strikes mainly children under 15 and over 5000 were diagnosed in 2007.
The more common form of Leukemia in adults is Acute Myelogenous Leukemia or AML -Approximately 14,000 people were diagnosed with AML in 2007. The risk increases with age and certain other health factors may contribute to the onset. Although mostly diagnosed in adults, approximately 1 in 5 children diagnosed with leukemia are found to have AML.
The other two forms of leukemia are CML and CLL. There are almost 100,000 people living with CLL and it primarily strikes adults over 50.
This is a devastating disease for a child, an adult, a family. How many times have you seen flyers in supermarkets or your corner store for Bone Marrow drives to find a match for a neighborhood teen or other community resident? How many times did you participate? Why didn't you participate? No time? Maybe you thought enough people would so you weren't needed? Well you are. Please. Take the time. Its painless, and you only need to do it once. Go and give some blood and get into the Bone Marrow Donor Registry. You can find out how at http://www.marrow.org/. You could be just what a 25 yr old man , a 14 yr old girl, a 5 yr old toddler or a 55 yr old grandparent needs to live. Don't keep telling yourself you will someday. Someday is today.
This concludes today's Public Service Announcement.