You can be an audience member during a LIVE taping of the Family Feud gameshow here in Atlanta and the tickets are FREE! We committed to recruit a certain number of audience members and we have to fill those seats to earn $$ for LLS! For more information, please email email@example.com or go directly to http://goo.gl/T1y7i to reserve your tickets now!
September is Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Awareness Month
Tremendous advances have been made to treat blood cancer but the battle is far from won.
White Plains, NY (August 25, 2011) – Remarkable progress has been made in treating patients with blood cancers, with survival rates for many having doubled or tripled, and in some cases quadrupled since The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) was founded in 1949.
“I have personally seen the progress in cure rates and treatments from when I experienced leukemia in 1994,” says survivor Nikki Henshaw. “These changes have dramatically improved the quality of life for those who are battling cancer.”
Survival rates for children with acute lymphocytic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer, have risen over the past 40 years from 3% to approximately 90% today; Hodgkin lymphoma patient survival rates have doubled to 86% since the 1960s, and the five-year survival rate has increased from 25% in the mid-seventies to 41% for all myeloma patients, and patients diagnosed in the last decade had a 50% improvement in overall survival.
Yet, more than 1 million North Americans are fighting blood cancers, the third leading cause of cancer death. Every four minutes someone in North America is diagnosed with a blood a cancer, and every ten minutes someone dies.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is a beacon of help and guidance to those touched by blood cancer and each September LLS observes Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Awareness Month, to shed light on these diseases and let the public know that there are resources available for blood cancer patients and their families.
“Awareness Month is an opportunity to increase the public’s understanding of blood cancers and encourage people to support the funding of research to find cures and education programs to help patients have the best possible outcomes throughout their cancer experience,” said LLS President and CEO John Walter.
Since its inception in 1949, LLS has invested more than $814 million in research to find cures and better therapies. LLS supports investigators’ efforts to find new molecular targets for treatment and potential immunotherapies, and helps them translate their laboratory findings into more effective therapies for patients. Its Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP) is a bold initiative to advance therapies with strong prospect so providing near-term benefit to patients diagnosed with blood cancers.
Through its patient services programs, LLS offers a comprehensive array of education and support services to blood cancer patients and their families. There are family support groups, free patient education workshops featuring health experts, and First Connection – a peer-to-peer support program that matches newly diagnosed patients with trained volunteer survivors. A back to school program help children treated for cancer transition back to school. LLS also provides financial assistance to patients with significant financial need and an insurance co-pay assistance program.
We completed a six mile training run on Saturday morning! It was our longest run to date and it was tough getting up at 6:00 am on Saturday morning after going to bed at midnight because of Jayce’s football game. After the run, we headed over to a Macy’s store at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta to participate in their annual event – “Shop for a Cause”. Once a year, Macy’s allows non-profit organizations to raise funds by giving out 25% off shopping passes in exchange for a minimum $5 contribution to the charitable organization. The employees told us that it was the second best sale they have every year, right behind “Friends & Family”. Bailey and I ended up raising $150 from the program on Saturday. A few customers that were really interested in what we were doing took our website address. One of them gave us a $50 contribution online today! That’s AWESOME!
This Friday is officially the “recommitment” deadline for Team in Training. This is the last date that participants can decide either they’re all-in for the cause or if they’re gonna quit. There’s NO QUITTING for Bailey and Bill! We’re ALL-IN! The paperwork is signed and submitted, our race registration turned in, and I’m happy to report that we’ve past the half-way mark with our fundraising! Due to a couple of changes in the program, our final fundraising goal is $3,000 between the two of us and as of this morning, we have collected $1,700!
PS….If you’d like to help us reach our goal, click a link on the right side of this page and give a few bucks to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society today! BEAT CANCER!
Each week, we receive a newsletter from our Team Coordinator (Amy) with lots of information about what’s going on with our team’s training and fundraising initiatives. In that newsletter, Amy shares a “Mission Moment” with us to keep us inspired and motivated. So, from this point forward, we will be sharing that moment with you!
Meet Donna, a Hodgkin’s Survivor –
“I am a survivor of Hodgkin’s Disease Stage IIIB. Prior to my diagnosis in June 1989, I had been ill for a very long time. At age 28, I developed a persistent cough and since I did not smoke, drink or do any drugs — in fact, I was mainly macrobiotic, my cough did not greatly concern me. Doctors told me I had post-nasal drip. By the end of the year, my nails had turned purple and I inexplicably developed a bad case of acne when I had never had skin problems as a teenager. Tests proved inconclusive and when my symptoms worsened and included night sweats, joint pain, and high fevers, I became accustomed to being ill. Maybe it was just a bad case of denial, but my attempts for a diagnosis proved futile, so I began to “go on” with my life in spite of illness. It became difficult for me to stand for more than a few minutes and breathing was painful and strained.
I flew out to San Francisco, thinking the change from New York City would help my lingering flu. Within a few days, my symptoms accelerated. I was unable to stand up in the shower and I would spend six to seven hours every morning visualizing before I was able to get up from bed. When I flew back home, I went to my parents who took me to the family doctor. I was hospitalized that day and months later after extensive tests (including bone marrow biopsies, liver biopsies, and blood gases) I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s. My first reaction was distress and tears, but after that, I assumed a very positive attitude, because my body was so weak, I could not afford to further compromise my immune system. Somewhere along the line, I learned an important fact: The body wants to survive and will instinctively find resources to cope with the illness. This is contrary to the initial feeling I had that my body had somehow betrayed me. I began doing things to distract myself and keep a positive focus almost by instinct and my family and friends rallied around me as well.
I went through seven months of intensive chemotherapy in which time I lost my hair and experienced bloating, intense vomiting and sleep loss. I was extremely underweight and emaciated, so it was a struggle to reach the 100 pound mark although I am 5’6. It was a very dramatic change in lifestyle for me — I had been a trained dancer and suddenly it was a struggle to walk, but losing everything put me in touch with subtler miracles. My lifetime goal was to be a great artist and create a masterpiece, but one day when I finally was able to leave my house and feel the sun on my face again, I felt such power in my being — I began to see the life force as the masterpiece. I felt I was re-experiencing the world and seeing my connection to and part in a grand scheme.
One of the greatest things I learned from being ill is that cancer is not a death sentence. It is possible to enjoy and celebrate your life, even when you are compromised by illness, and it is possible to defeat illness. Most important, being ill taught me how precious living is. It’s the greatest miracle of all and it is ours to savor each and every day.”
Let’s go RAISE some money, RUN some miles and BEAT cancer!
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a month since our last update. Time sure flies when you’re having fun…and staying BUSY! Bailey and I are now training with the Atlanta Team (we were with North Forsyth/Fulton Team). We went to our first GTS (group training system) this past Saturday. The Atlanta Team is HUGE! There had to be more than 100 people there. We met some new friends, warmed up and hit the road. We completed 5 miles. When I went back and looked at our training log, I realized we hadn’t actually ran in just over three weeks. Man, we should have cut it short, but we did it and we’re back in the game.
This past Saturday, dad and I met up with our Forsyth/North Fulton team at the greenway for our morning group run! On the training schedule, the half marathoners are to be running 5 miles the next few weeks, while the full marathoners are running 6 miles. We started our run with a mind set of doing the scheduled 5 miles. Once we got to 2.5 miles, something went off in my head to why not run 6? So I convinced dad, and we ran that extra mile! That’s running a 10k, or almost half of a half marathon! Before you know it, we’ll be at that finish line in Savannah!
What a busy day we had today! Well, busier I should say, since every day is usually a busy day! We started it by waking up at 7 a.m. to attend an injury prevention clinic. After the clinic we headed to Windward Parkway, where we met up with 3 other Team in Training runners, and we all started panhandling! We all started at 10, and kept it up until 1. We then took a break and counted the money we collected. After splitting the money between the 5 of us, dad and I walked away with $248.85 total! That’s $124.42 per person! Dad and I decided to go back by ourselves to collect some more. We went back out for another hour and a half, from that we collected $147.15! Making it a total of $396 for the day! People were very generous. Even though it was so hot and exhausting, we knew we were helping save people’s lives, and what we were going through wasn’t nearly as bad as what the cancer patients go through. It was a very successful day, and I’m sure we’ll be out there doing it again soon!
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 days since our last update. Man, time really does fly by when you’re having fun! We are continuing to train hard for the race. The past couple of Saturdays, we completed 4.0 mile runs with our group. Bailey and I have been trying to grab a few miles here and there during the week, but those are usually on our own because our schedules never match-up.
This past Saturday after our 7:30 am Group Training Session (4.4 miles!), we spent four hours fundraising stint on the streets of Milton, GA. We “panhandled” in traffic in front of Wal-Mart/Home Depot on Winward Parkway with three other Team in Training participants. Bailey and I were somewhat successful…our share of the donations was $316! That puts us at $766 raised to date with $2,584 dollars to go!