Hodgkin’s International is a non-profit organization that is committed to making sure that each and every long term survivor of Hodgkin Lymphoma knows and understands what they are up against. We provide up-to-date information about the late effects of earlier treatment, to give survivors the necessary resources for getting the best medical care, and, most importantly, to offer our fellow survivors a place where they can find support and encouragement from others who have “been there.”
We want survivors to get accurate information on late effects and where to go to get the appropriate follow up care. We are determined not only to identify survivorship clinics around the world, but to make sure that they are growing in number and are available to those who are the most vulnerable. Hodgkins International is an all-volunteer organization, formed by a group of dedicated and courageous Hodgkin’s survivors who have personally experienced the ravages of long term effects and who have mourned the loss of far too many of our fellow survivors. We were brought together by the desperate need for companionship, understanding, and support. We know that there are thousands of people out there, just like us, who need ALL of those things. They need more than basic, essential information. They need someone to tell them they’re not alone.
Hodgkin’s International Co-Founder & Executive Director, Erin Cummings, has been a cancer survivor for over 45 years. Erin and her co-founder, Dolly Griffin, started Hodgkin’s International with a mission to provide Hodgkin’s survivors with support and educational resources wherever they may be. Hodgkin’s International continues to be inspired and influenced by survivors like Anita Isaacson, who paved the way with her Facebook group dedicated to the support of survivors of Hodgkin’s. Sadly, Anita & Dolly have since passed away, but their legacy lives on through the growing Hodgkin’s International platform and the path of resources and support they left behind.
Hodgkin Lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cell system, is now a highly curable form of cancer, especially when caught in the early stages of the disease. However, for those who were diagnosed years, even decades ago, the long term effects of treatment can have devastating, sometimes deadly consequences. Earlier forms of chemotherapy, especially those containing alkylating agents, have been linked to several types of secondary cancers, including Leukemia. Bleomycin, another chemotherapy drug, has been known to cause lung damage. Perhaps the biggest “culprit” in serious secondary effects is the radiation treatment that was used years ago. Hodgkin’s survivors who were given radiation, particularly to the neck and chest area, are at risk for heart disease and strokes, as well as lung disease. Furthermore, radiation has also been associated with a higher risk of breast cancer, lung cancer, and thyroid cancer, just to name a few. Long term survivors of Hodgkin Lymphoma may be completely unaware of the risks that they face. They may have led healthy, full lives for decades before experiencing any of the consequences of earlier treatment. They may have been “written off” by their healthcare provider as “cured” and therefore not in need of close observation. Sadly, some survivors discover that they are, in fact, suffering from long term effects when things have already progressed and little can be done.
The funds we raise through our iFundWomen campaign will provide us the opportunity to hire staff and obtain the necessary technology to insure that we reach Hodgkin’s survivors wherever they be, anywhere in the world. We will be able to offer printed material as well as digital content on our website. We will be able to make connections with like organizations, share information, and participate in research projects. Our long range plans includes the ability to actually help fund research that is specifically designed to study long term effects. It is our mission not only to care for our fellow survivors, but to make sure that the next generation of survivors do not suffer the way we have.
Your gift can literally help save lives. Thanks to your generosity and compassion for others, long term survivors of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma will get the kind of vital information that they are too often missing. They will know that they are not forgotten, that someone else cares, and most of all, that they are not alone. Your gift means the world to each and every one of us, and your support of our campaign will be acknowledged, with your permission, on our website as well as our Facebook page.