“Summer Girls” singer, Rich Cronin dies of Leukemia

LFO lead singer Rich Cronin has died of leukemia. The 35 year-old singer, whose group LFO is best known for their 1999 hit “Summer Girls” was first diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia in 2005. At that time he was complaining of headaches and exhaustion. He later became an advocate for cancer treatment awareness, and set up the Rich Cronin Hope Foundation.  The following message was posted on Cronin’s Facebook page by his manager Melissa Holland:

“On behalf of the Cronin family and all at the Hope Foundation and [his record label] Orange Freeze, thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts. Continue to post them as a tribute to a great man, a better artist and the best friend I could ever have.”

Click here to see a video of Summer Girls- LFO

Acute myelogenous leukemia (also called acute myeloid leukemia or AML) is a disease of the white blood cells and the bone marrow. Cells in the bone marrow, called stem cells, can become any one of the different kinds of blood cells (see diagram below). In AML, these stem cells become myeloid blast cells (now called leukemic cells), but do not go on to become red blood cells, platelets or certain white blood cells of this myeloid line (cells within the blue box below). This can lead to anemia (low red blood count), blood clotting problems, and increased risk of infection (low white cell count).

Blast cells

Symptoms of leukemia include:

  • unexplained fever
  • night sweats
  • weakness and fatigue
  • frequent headaches
  • easy skin bruising
  • decreased appetite and weight loss

Treatment options include chemotherapy, biological therapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow (or stem cell) transplant, as well as new and innovative treatments that are beginning to be used.

For more information, click here to go to the Resounding Health casebook on AML

Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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