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WBC = White Blood Cells

I've been trying to write this post for over a year, since my good friend passed away suddenly from two kinds of leukemia, myeloid and lymphoid, both acute. She was survived by two very young children, passing just days after she received the diagnosis, only months after having her second baby.

Every time I read or hear or see something I know my friend would appreciate and want to share whatever it is with her, only to realize I cannot anymore, I look up leukemia. What I seek is an answer to the universal question: Why? My friend was in her 30s, did yoga, ate healthy, even ran marathons. (I have not run a marathon in my life. Not one. Don't eat great or do yoga, either.)

Scientists are not sure what causes leukemia. Like most other cancers (besides lung cancer-- smoking is a pretty certain way to get lung cancer), the causes are a vague interaction of genetics, environment, and can't-catch-a-break.

If you look at the family tree of white blood cells below, you will see how…

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