This website is designed to be a comprehensive online resource that covers a range of topics of interest to Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia patients and their families. The site is patient-produced and patient-funded. It takes a patient-oriented point of view. We are particularly interested in new therapies and clinical trials. The articles presented in this site are intended to provide current, relevant information from professional medical sources, as well as the writers' considered evaluation and discussion of that information. Much of the material is based on recent research at major cancer research institutions, university medical centers and the commercial biotechnology industry. The discussions are centered on abstracts and articles from research publications and scholarly journals from a number of countries. Links are provided to original sources of the research data wherever possible.
This website, CLLTopics.org, can be accessed by anybody with an Internet connection. It addresses a range of topics that are of interest to those afflicted or affected by the disease, namely, CLL, its diagnosis, prognosis, therapeutic options and future possibilities. The intent of this site is to educate, inform, and support its readers.
The authors of the articles on this website do have a variety of useful backgrounds and many of us are technically trained in non-medical fields. As a team, we have learned a great deal about the disease and its treatment through personal experience and the investment of a great deal of time and energy in investigating the disease and therapies for it. Our collective knowledge and experience may offer insights and guidance.
Please do remember that the writers of the articles on CLLTopics.org are not medical professionals and do not provide medical advice or recommendations for treatment. Please consult and follow the advice of your own healthcare providers.
Dollars and $ense
Since December 2003, CLL Topics has been raising funds to support clinical research in CLL. As of December 31, 2007 we have received a total of $310,828.34 from 555 donors. For details and a list of donors, please see our Acknowledgements page.
You can read about our objectives and methods in Fundraising and Sponsorship Philosophy and Notes on Fundraising. You can also see what we have done so far by reading CLL Topics Sponsored Clinical Trials. Further details may be found in articles describing the specific projects sponsored and in our Financial Statements.
We have reached our fundraising goals for the year and as of June 30, 2007 we will temporarily suspend fundraising while our publisher, editor, webmaster and chief administrator (same guy – works for free) is undergoing treatment for his CLL. Suspending this labor-intensive activity will lighten up our operational commitments and allow us to concentrate our time and effort on maintaining our publishing and educational activities, including this website and Topics Alerts. We will report on the results from our sponsored projects as and when they become available.
We thank you for your generous support and encouragement.
— The Topics Team
We are grateful to all our generous donors and volunteers for their support.
CLL Topics, Inc. is a non-profit corporation established to offer education and support to patients all over the world affected by Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and to foster clinical research in the disease. It is entirely patient-run, with no ties to the health care industry.
Our Board of Directors is drawn from the community of CLL patients and caregivers. They are motivated volunteers who have been involved in guiding and assisting us since the incorporation of CLL Topics as a non-profit. Below are short biographies of the current board members as of July 1, 2007.
Mr. Loyd Keith Friedlander
Mrs. Wendy Ramsey
Dr. Chaya Venkat
Mr. P. C. Venkat
We are also honored to acknowledge the invaluable service of the following past members of our board:
Mr. William W. Duffy, II
Dr. Judith E. Fisher
Mr. David Arenson
Mr. Peter F. Carpenter
Mr. Robert J. Blake
Dr. Robert Morgan
Dr. Sherry Gardner
Note: We are saddened to report the deaths of two of our former Board members during 2007. Mr. William W. Duffy, II and Dr. Judith E. Fisher served on our Board since its formation in 2003. We are grateful for their generous contribution of time, energy and talents to our cause. We have conveyed our heartfelt sympathy to their families.You will find Mr. Duffy's obituary posted on this website.
Mr. Loyd Keith Friedlander is an attorney who has been involved in the insurance industry. He is founder and president of Loyd Keith Friedlander Partners, a regional insurance agent/broker in the Northeast. He has a Doctor of Law degree from Emory University and a BA in English from the State University of New York in Buffalo. He was admitted to the Bar in New York State in 1983. His company, LKF Partners, is licensed in four states and specializes in developing and marketing property and casualty insurance programs for designated industries. The firm currently employs 19 and has sales exceeding $15,000,000 annually. LKF Partners is a premier provider of standard, creative and alternate risk management solutions to mid-size and larger businesses. Keith has professional memberships in a number of legal and insurance organizations. He and his wife Carmen live with their three children in New York State. Keith’s mother was diagnosed with CLL in 1984.
Mrs. Wendy Ramsey is the president and owner of a construction company in the state of Washington, a business she has run for the past 26 years. Her company is a Certified Women's Business Enterprise. It currently employs 40 with annual revenues of $11 million. The company has extensive experience in health care projects, specializing in laboratory and research facilities on medical and college campuses. Additional areas of expertise include design-build projects, budgeting, value engineering and feasibility reviews. In addition to running her business, Wendy has a history of involvement in public service, principally with agencies of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. She has also served as a director of the community based juvenile offender program for the Juvenile Court. Among her volunteer appointments, she has served on the Washington State Governor’s Contractor Board, on non-profit local hospital boards, the local trades apprenticeship and training board, women's shelter board, YMCA board and public school committees and boards. Wendy was diagnosed with CLL in July 2003. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two sons.
Dr. Chaya Venkat, a co-founder of CLL Topics, is a scientist, engineer and educator. In her professional career she has taught undergraduate chemistry, spent years in the lab as a research scientist, worked as a petrochemical process engineer and as an intellectual property manager. She has twenty four petrochemical process patents in her name. Her academic qualifications include an interdisciplinary doctorate in chemistry and education from the University of Michigan, a BS and MS in chemistry from Madras University and the IIT, Madras, respectively, and an MS in chemical engineering from Princeton University. She retired in the year 2000 after 19 years of work at Mobil Oil involving a variety of assignments. In her final assignment as Senior Intellectual Property Manager, she negotiated license agreements with major oil and petrochemical companies worldwide and managed a sizable business portfolio. She has had a number of publications in petrochemical trade journals. She was a recipient of the 2003 Thomas Alva Edison award for industrial engineering for one of her patents. Since the summer of 2001 when her husband was diagnosed with CLL, she has invested her time and energy in reading the research literature on the disease, communicating with clinical research professionals and writing – indeed, since her retirement, CLL Topics has become her full-time, pro-bono job.
If you are a glutton for details, we do have a page on Chaya's research credentials.
Mr. P. C. Venkat, the other co-founder of CLL Topics, has a background as a commercial and investment banker. He has degrees in electrical engineering (B. Tech., IIT Madras) and business administration (MBA, University of Michigan). His career in the financial services industry has spanned 27 years as an executive with such employers as Citigroup, BankAmerica and Wachovia, as well as periods as a consultant and independent investment banker. His transaction history includes a long list of merger and acquisition advisory and financing deals. His most recent professional assignment was as a turnaround specialist and crisis manager with Sales Support Services, a leading provider of outsourced business services. This exercise was concluded successfully in 2001 with the sale of the company. He was diagnosed with CLL in 2001. In the last six years he has invested his time in gaining programming skills and coming up the learning curve on CLL. His current full-time, pro-bono vocation is as Publisher, Editor and Webmaster of CLL Topics. P. C. lives in Arizona with Chaya, his wife of 37 years and partner in CLL Topics, a small collection of computers — and Jasper, the evolved Australian Shepherd, who doubles as their phone answering service.
Our Non-Discrimination Policy
We Support CLL Patients Everywhere - and Bar None
CLL Topics extends its services to and encourages participation in its activities by all individuals affected by Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, age, size, national origin, citizenship, geographic location, language, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background or mental or physical handicap. In fact, we are pleased to extend our services to any person who wishes to benefit from them.
We Safeguard Personal Data
Disclaimer: The content of this website is intended for information only and is NOT meant to be medical advice. Please be sure to consult and follow the advice of your doctors on all medical matters.
Copyright © 2002-2007 CLL Topics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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However, you may download and print material from CLLTopics.org exclusively for your personal, noncommercial use.