Leukemia is cancer of blood or bone marrow easily discovered through extraordinary and irregular increase in white blood cells or leukocytes. Leukocytes are the immune system cells involved in providing the body protection it needs against foreign bodies and any infectious infections. The abnormal production of white cells usually affects the functioning of the leucocytes and of other cells in the blood, hence deterring the performance of the body in general. Some of the cells found in the bone marrow are the red-blood cells and platelets. The main function of red-blood cells is the transportation of oxygen to the entire body whereas; the platelets are responsible for blood clotting [Freirech, 1993, P. 23-26]. Leukemia is a widely used phrase that covers a wide variety of diseases. Blood cancer associated with Leukemia is under a class of diseases widely known as ad haematological neoplasm. Leukemia is the leading cause of many deaths reported these days in the world. In accordance to 2006, fiscal year cancer statistics, about 34, 316 leukemia cases were treated in the United Stated. Even if, most of the blood cancer cases are untreatable, an individual’s life can be prolonged via the finest health care and high quality treatment [Amer, 2008, par. 6].
The increasing worldwide cases of loss of life due to blood cancer or leukemia have raised an alarm, not only to the medical experts, but also to the general public. The increased mortality rates due to leukemia can be associated with factors such as, failure to access high quality diagnosis like chemotherapies due to monetary woes. Poor diet and inability to access proper care by families or friends who encourage and support victims of leukemia. Lack of knowledge amongst the care providers is the other core cause of high mortality rates among the leukemia patients globally. Such factors show that, through proper care and treatment, majority of the complications and deaths associated with leukemia would be reduced greatly [Kebriaei, 2008, p. 2232-2265].
Living life foundation will mainly put its focus on offering outstanding survival plan. This plan will fit those individuals living with leukemia and poor families living with or offering support to patients of leukemia. Additionally, the Living life foundation focuses on those patients who come from poverty-stricken families. When it comes to the patients of leukemia, primary care is truly essential. Nevertheless, primary care can be expensive if the caregivers get low income. For poor families, it is costly to diagnose mild conditions and reduce pains caused by severe blood cancer. Chemotherapy treatment on the other hand is relatively costlier for caregivers who earn low income mainly in the less-developed countries [Klosterman, 2006, P. 54]. In most cases, leukemia patients in these countries do not undertake chemotherapy mainly due to monetary woes. Majority of families living with leukemia patients are provided with financial aid to help them access quality diagnosis.
Living foundation as well targets the less-developed countries alongside improved economies by offering the support programs. Majority of these countries lack quality medical facilities and treatment to help take care of the patients of blood cancer. Living foundation is offering government medical institutions with drugs and equipments to increase the access to quality treatment. Its distribution will mainly focus on rural areas. Large percentages of leukemia deaths reported in the rural areas as they lack adequate facilities and drugs. Living foundation will focus on working with the medical centers and governments to make sure that poor patients in the rural region get quality treatment. Much attention will be on children and youths in these regions [Ducker, 2006, p.2408-2417].
Mission Statement and the Problem Addressed
The mission of Living foundation includes raising living standards and the quality of life among the many people living with leukemia and their families. It is also concerned about increasing the survival rates among those affected by blood cancer. In essence, patients of leukemia who come from poor families usually lead low life. Additionally, they also do not enjoy healthy diets and lack enough money to undergo through quality treatment. Blood cancer patients usually require healthy diet and access quality diagnosis so that they can be able to improve their immune system. Many families and caregivers of leukemia patients who earn low income in most cases have their lives compromised due to the many financial woes that they face while taking care of leukemia patients. Once more, with high quality treatment and improved living standards, it is incredibly easy to reduce death risks among the leukemia patients [Peacock, 2000, p.34]. The Living foundation mission addresses the issue of leukemia chiefly because; the organization is able to improve the living standards among two different groups and reduce deaths.
Virtually, 260,000 people in United States live with leukemia. Research shows that by the end of the 2010 financial year, about 40,000 new cases of blood cancer will be treated. Notably, leukemia is widespread among adults than in children. The number of deaths estimated from Leukemia by the end of 2010 economy year in the US reaches an average of 21, 840. The information abovementioned citing US as the sample example are startling. For individuals suffering from leukemia to survive and live longer, the survival rates need improvement by providing quality life and better treatment. Essential education on how to live with the disease to prevent further complications would also be obligatory. Once again, in relation to the statistics earlier mentioned, the number of adults living with the condition is high as compared to that of affected children. Children depend on the status of their families and the settings.
Persons living with chronic blood cancer also depend on other people or organizations especially, if the condition is acute and complicated. In situations where the cases of leukemia are severe, adults will not be able to work to support patients and those who are able to work; they are many times less productive. In most cases, patient with chronic conditions will not be able to work or take jobs that are demanding and depressing. These factors call for the need to get financial aid to help the adults be able to enjoy a quality life. For normal children whose parents are not able to work effectively, they may lack the basic needs for their survival like clothing and education. Therefore, it is essential to offer support to families with leukemia patients [Liesveld & Litchman, 2006, 1183-1236].
Description of Project
Project Objectives and Goals
The Living life foundation project objective and the goal is to help increase the survival rate amongst the many patients living with leukemia. The three main objectives that classify the project are process objective, knowledge objective and the behaviors objective. Process objective brings about ensuring quality living standards and life among the leukemia patients and their families. Through corporation with several medical institutions and the national government, better access to quality treatment among the poor families will carry the day. Living foundation will purchase drugs used in treatment of leukemia from pharmacies and offer them to leukemia patients from low-income families at a subsidized rate. The less-developed countries, equipments for treating leukemia will be donated to district health centers to ensure availability of subsidized drugs and reduce the difficulty of accessing them [Bozzone, 2009, P.134].
When it comes to knowledge objective, it deals with ensuring that caregivers have the right information and expertise relating to home treatment to help the patients of leukemia. The patients of blood cancer will also be enlightened on healthy living, to shun any complications caused by severe leukemia. The knowledge objective will also focus on the society in general. It will ensure that education on leukemia risk factors and effective preventative measures are available. This will help the society to prevent individuals from contacting the disease. In addition, society will also be educated on how to support patients living with leukemia. The living life foundation will also focus on primary care and prevention of leukemia. Lastly, the behaviors objective helps to reduce the death rate among the many patients living with blood cancer [Leonard, 1998, P.45]. The living life project and objectives will guarantee high living standards amongst the patients of leukemia as, well as their families.
It is extremely easy to achieve the goals and the purpose of the living life project, one approach to use is educating the caregivers and patients about the complications, which occur due to leukemia. Blood cancer or leukemia usually compromises the immune system of individuals. There are a number of complications that may result from effects of leukemia, if the disease is not treated cautiously once noticed. One of these complications is diseases. Blood cancer may lead to diseases such as bacterial infection. The lower and the upper respiratory tracts are the common part affected by complications resulting from chronic lymphocytic leukemia [Johnston, 2004, p. 2097-2192]. Thus, patients living with leukemia need to be educated on the dangers of not getting early treatment or failing to adhere to their diagnosis schedules. Non –adherence in most cases occurs when patients living with leukemia fail to take their scheduled drugs or fail to avail themselves for the planned chemotherapies. Bleeding is another complication associated with leukemia. It occurs when there is low count of red-blood cells or platelets in the body. People with low count of red-blood cells bruise easily. Low count of platelets also causes sudden nose and gum bleeding. The other complication associated with blood cancer is anemia.
Anemia is a complicated condition associated with low count of platelets. Low count of blood means that the number of cells in the body that are responsible for carrying blood is all parts of the body is low. Anemia also causes more complications like hypoxia or lack of oxygen in organs in the body. Additionally, severe anemia can also lead to death because the majority of the cells in the body require oxygen in order to survive. The high risk of developing more types of cancers is the other fatal complication of leukemia. Research shows that individuals with anemia and mostly the hairy-cell leukemia are prone to developing more tumors if there is no proper diagnosis provided. Some of the known types of cancer found in individuals with hairy cell leukemia include Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancers among others. Additionally, patients living with blood cancer could also experience tumors, which are more severe if untreated. For example, people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia can also experience an aggressive tumor called B-cell lymphoma [Schiff, 2008, P.555].
This switch to more severe and aggressive tumors is Ritcher’s syndrome. Blood cancer can link to immune system problems. Patients with severe chronic- lymphocytic leukemia in most cases have a compromised immune system. A compromised immune system may cause the cell that help in protecting the body against diseases to attack the platelets erroneously and cause serious damage. The other serious complication of anemia is hypogammaglobulinemia, a condition that leads to reduced antibodies levels in the body. An enlarged spleen can also affect individuals living with leukemia. It mainly occurs among people with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Large numbers of white cells produced in the body of individuals suffering from chronic myelogenous leukemia are stored in the spleen. There is the likelihood of the spleen to swell, due to the stored cells. Once the spleen swells, this condition may lead to pain in several parts of the body such as the abdomen. There is also the likelihood of stroke to occur to individuals suffering from leukemia. People experiencing chronic myelogenous leukemia produce many platelets. The high count of red-blood cells also known as, thrombosis may cause stroke due to the uncontrolled clotting of the blood. Infertility can occur due to leukemia or blood cancer. There is the likelihood of the patients of leukemia to experience infertility due to the effects of the drugs that they use. It is necessary to find out the risk of infertility prior to undertaking any treatment. By storing male sperm samples, they can help in future uses like embryo implantation in case of infertility. On the other side, women can have their fertilized eggs stored to be used in the future lest of infertility [Schiff, 2008, P.559].
Living life foundation will also aid in educating both the leukemia patients and caregivers about the readily available treatment to manage or to cure the chronic cases effectively. Healthy eating is an effective treatment applied to reduce complications and death risks due to leukemia. This is an effective treatment has it helps improve the compromised immune system of the patients living with blood cancer. There are high possibilities of a patient with a compromised immune system to get different diseases. The increased deaths of leukemia patients are due to opportunistic infections due to their weak immune system. From treatments such as chemotherapies and drugs, leukemia patients usually suffer from nausea and lagging. A blood cancer patient who wants to improve the immune system should take a balanced diet comprised of plenty of vegetables, low fat proteins, fresh fruits and whole gains [Bloch, 1990, P.136].
Diseases are the key complications of blood cancer; but are prevented easily and successfully via safe practices of using food. Some of the best ways of handling food and preventing contamination include using separate items to prepare vegetables, meat and others items. It is also extremely easy to prevent infections by checking the expiry dates of food before consuming it. Other effective ways that one can use to prevent infection are changing dishtowels and sponges on a daily basis to name but a few measures [Bloch, 1990, P.139]. The other imperative treatment for blood cancer is naturopathic. Naturopathic is a treatment that joins the latest nutrition, botanical and traditional therapies and health science. Natural medicines are also remarkably essential as they assist leukemia patients to be healthy and strong before they undergo through oncology treatment. Additionally, natural medicines also help patients to improve their immune system so that the body can be able to fight infection. With natural medicines, it is exceptionally easy to reduce the side effects of oncology treatment. Message therapy is crucial when offered to leukemia patients; it helps increase the survival rates among the large number of individuals living with the condition.
Therapists use message therapy, a licensed message to help increase blood flow and fuel the nerves of leukemia patients. Increased blood flow is essential in the sense that, it helps to alleviate stress and lighten up the muscles. It is also easy to relieve anxiety and pain through message therapies and reduce dependency on medications. To reduce insomnia, fatigue, distress, nausea and pain associated with leukemia treatment, massage therapy is crucial. Meditation program is the other useful program offered by living life foundation. Medication program is all about a process that helps the leukemia patients to calm their minds. It also works to clam the body of the individual exercising it. Through this medication process, it is easy to reduce blood pressure. By following the meditation program, it is easy to reduce the pumping rate and heartbeat.
Research shows that meditation helps leukemia patients to undertake chemotherapy and radiation treatment dreadfully. Living life foundation has been helping patients of blood cancer in many ways, and it has introduced the art therapy program. Art therapy incorporates spiritual, emotional and physical care to blood cancer patients by offering them effective ways to respond to their experiences. It includes drawing, sculpture and painting among others artistic activities. Additionally, art therapy is an excellent therapy, which could aid leukemia patients manage their emotions. It also offers an outlet for feelings and emotions among the blood cancer victims and so they are able to reduce stress. There are diverse effects of stress, and they vary from tension, stomach upset, and backaches to headaches among other effects. Thus, through the art therapy program, it will be easy for leukemia patients to get rid of complications that lead to stress. Blood cancer patients can also try music therapy. Simply put, music therapy includes music interventions and use of music in creating, restoring and boosting physical, emotional and spiritual health and the physiological welfare of people living with blood cancer and mostly the poverty-stricken patients.
Music therapy is vital in the sense that it helps provide non-pharmacological pain and discomfort management. It also influences positive changes in the moods and emotional states of people. Living life foundation has also established leukemia rehabilitation centers as a great strategy to help improve the living standards among people living with blood cancer. Living life rehabilitation for leukemia patients will combine exercise therapies with diagnosis side effects. It will also help improve the physical wellbeing and psychological health of individuals living with leukemia. Occupational and physical therapy help leukemia patients to be able to address various challenging issues like lymphedema, loss of motion and skin tightness mainly after radiation surgery and treatment. At this leukemia rehabilitation center, counseling and support amongst the blood cancer patients and their caregivers is nearby. The counseling offered at this center helps the blood cancer patients to live with the fatal condition without compromising their immune system further. Whereas, counseling will help the family members or caregivers of the blood cancer patient to be able to deal with emotional strain and stress brought about by taking care of individuals living with leukemia [Faderl & Kantarjian, 2010, P.123]. In addition, living life foundation, will educate children who come from families, which the breadwinners have the chronic blood cancer condition. This is a massive undertaking, which will help these children get educated like any other children out there coming from families with healthy parents. Subsidized medications are available for the leukemia patients who come from poor families. The distribution of these aid drugs works with partnership with the government and the medical institutions like healthcare centers.
There are two evaluations carried out by living life foundation, the goal-based evaluation and process-based evaluation. As earlier mentioned, living life project aims at achieving two processes and they are the knowledge and behaviour process. Process evaluation involves finding out the number of people living with leukemia from poor families who have access to quality treatment and medication. In the evaluation process, change in the survival rate percentages be used. Death rate statistics of individuals living with blood cancer help to evaluate the effectiveness of the living life project. The program is considered successful and effective if, the yearly number of people dying from the blood cancer disease decreases massively. Whereas the increase in the survival rate of the patients will also show that, the project has been able to achieve its goals and objectives. Lastly, easiness of access will also show that, the program has been effective [South & Green, 2006, P.112].
Process evaluation will focus on providing remedial measures if it goes amiss of the set objectives or goals. A comparison of outcomes obtained with the program results is conducted so that, it can be easy to determine the difference. If the result is a positive variance, this will encourage the management to go on with the program and the approaches abovementioned as it enjoys the success of the project. Whereas, negative variance will call for remedial measures in order to accomplish the project objective. It is easy to evaluate the knowledge objectives, it all involves finding out the level of understanding among the leukemia patients and their families. Expertise and understanding of exercise therapies, which flatter medical treatment and the chemotherapies, will be the main variables to look at. When it comes to behavior objectives, they are easily evaluated, by considering the living standards amongst the leukemia patients and their families. The quality of life is easily evaluated by looking at variables such as the leukemia patient’s diet and the availability of medications [South & Green, 2006, P.115].
Living life foundation managerial team will put into action the project within one year. The probability study will take place within the first two months, to ascertain the capability of the project. The expenditure benefit study is within this stage. However, the cost of applying the project should not go beyond the project benefits. Channeling will be complete within the next three months just after the viability study. The piloting will focus on evaluating the success of the program before the entire execution takes place. The implementation will be complete within the next five months after the channeling or piloting process. In the eleventh month of the project, the evaluation process will be complete. The main aim of the evaluation process is to find the difference between the set objectives and the results of the project. Lastly, post-evaluation it will take place immediately after the evaluation process, and it will be in the last month. Post-evaluation is an extensive process, it will help in the execution of the corrective procedures if the difference acquired in the evaluation phase is negative.
Correspondingly, program strengthening is an extensive process that comes after the post-evaluation phase especially, if the difference acquired in the evaluation phase is positive [South & Green, 2006, P.112]. The main benefit of the evaluation process is that, it is easy to acquire feedback and system upgrading is easy. Additionally, the evaluation will also aid living life organization be able to find out the degree to which the organization goals and objectives can be fulfilled. Nevertheless, these two process-evaluation and post-evaluation will bring out high expenditure to the organization. Meticulous analysis will be executed prior the evaluation process is conducted to verify the benefits of the project and the cost related to the entire process.
Kips, Too. ( 2006). Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and related diseases. New York, U.S. A: McGraw-hill publishers. 1343-1348