April 21st is AML World Awareness Day. This is an important day for people across the world to come together to bring awareness to this rare cancer. In honor of this day, we have asked four AML patients and an AML caregiver to share their perspective on why AML awareness is important to them.
Steve Buechler, AML survivor and published author of How Steve Became Ralph (www.stevebuechlerauthor.com), provides three reasons why bringing awareness is important to him based off of his own personal experience with AML.
Kerith Amen, former caregiver to her husband Rob, and Co-Director of our HealthTree for AML programs, shares several reasons why it is important to her to bring awareness to AML.
Rob Hale, AML survivor who was diagnosed a year ago in April 2021, has a strong interest in bringing awareness to AML and is doing so by documenting his journey on Instagram (@robs_cancer_journey). He believes awareness is important because due to it's uncommonness, funding for research isn't as high of a priority as other cancers despite it's extremely aggressive nature. He states many people are aware of the word leukemia, but don't necessairly know anything about the characteristics of the disease let alone that there are several different types of leukemia. When Rob was diagnosed, he experienced avoidance from certain friends and family simply because they had no idea what he was going through. Awareness lessens the feelings of isolation if people understand what you are up against with a disease like AML. Rob hopes that by raising awareness for AML that it will make the illness more approachable to others so that they will not be afraid to talk about it with those going through it. He also hopes awareness will shine a light on the disease so that it will get more funding that it so desperately needs and deserves. Rob agrees with Kerith that more stem cell donors are needed and awareness will hopefully encourage people to sign up to be on donor registries.
Julie Moser spent all of 2021 fighting for her life after being diagnosed with AML. Bringing awareness to AML is important to Julie because she realized first hand how critical time is to receiving treatment as rapidly as possible. She wants to bring awareness to the fact that while the statistics for AML can be scary, we as individuals are not statistics. The more we raise awareness about AML, the more we will learn about what it means for those who are impacted by this disease and be able to better support them.
Helping people to understand the basics of AML is the first step in raising awareness. Today on AML World Awareness Day, share the videos of Steve, Julie, Rob and Kerith along with these HealthTree University videos on your social media to help your friends and family learn about AML! To share, hover over the video and click the "share" button on the top right corner of the video.
about the author
Katie joined the HealthTree Foundation as the Community Director for AML in 2021. She is a registered dietitian who previously worked at the VA hospital in Dallas, Texas where she coached veterans with blood cancer on how to use nutrition to improve their treatment outcomes and minimize cancer-related side effects. Katie is passionate about health education and patient empowerment. In her spare time, she loves to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen, spend time running outdoors and travel to new places.