Whom Does Little Angels Help?

Little Angels helps patients who qualify financially and are undergoing treatment for a blood cancer or a stem cell transplant at the Ottawa Hospital. A blood cancer is a cancer that affects the blood, marrow or lymph nodes. The three main types of blood cancers are:

  • leukemia  begins in the blood-forming tissue of the body, called the bone marrow;
  • lymphoma  arises from lymphocytes, which are white blood cells found in lymph nodes, blood and bone marrow. They are a fundamental part of the immune system and help to protect the body from disease; and
  • multiple myeloma – arises from plasma cells, a specific type of white blood cell, in the bone marrow.

Leukemia is the general term used to describe four different types of blood cancers. The different disease types are classified into acute or chronic, and myelogenous or lymphocytic, depending on cell type. The terms myelogenous or myeloid indicate that the cancer takes place in a type of marrow cell that normally forms red cells, some types of white cells and platelets. The terms lymphocytic or lymphoblastic indicate that the change occurs in a type of marrow cell that forms lymphocytes.

Lymphomas are broadly divided into Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. There are various sub-types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the Canada.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of bone marrow plasma cells often diagnosed in adults aged between 65 – 70 years old. Younger individuals are not excluded from this disease and it is more common in men than women. Plasma cells make antibodies to help fight infections and since they are found in blood it is referred to as a blood cancer. Localised tumors of myeloma cells can be single or can affect multiple areas of the bone marrow.

In addition to the blood cancers described above Little Angels also supports qualified patients undergoing stem cell transplantation for non-blood-cancer related diseases such as multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune disorders such as myasthenia gravis.