Almost two years ago, 6 days after the birth of my son Alex, I was diagnosed with stage IIB Hodgkins Lymphoma. Fortunately, my battle with Lymphoma has been successfull. Halfway through my chemotherapy treatments my scans came back clean (remission!) and on January 16, 2006 I recieved my last dose of chemo. A short stint of radiation therapy in March and my active treatment was done.
After finishing my treatment I began to get involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Soceity. The Society is the worlds largest organization concerned solely with funding research towards cures for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. It is heavily involved in funding research grants, patient advocacy, education and patient support. Nearly 76% of every dollar raised helps fund research or provides patient advocacy services.
Due to my involvement with the Society, I was asked to participate as a candidate in the Man and Woman of the Year competition. In this annual event, representatives from chapters around the country compete to raise money for the Soceity in honor of a little boy or girl that has one of these horrible diseases. At the end of the competition, the person that has raised the most money is title "Man or Woman of the Year". While this event is a "competition", that's not what's important and it doesn't matter who raises the largest amount of money. What matters is supporting an organization that has helped people like Carlee, this years "Girl of the Year" survive leukemia.
Carlee was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2006 and immediately began chemotherapy. I had the pleasure of meeting her at a kick-off event and I can tell you, she's definitely kept her spirits up! Currently, she is reacting well to her therapy. However, the treatment for leukemia is a long process. She has at least two more years of therapy ahead of her. But so far, the outlook is great. Thirty years ago, Carlee's diagnosis would have been simple, her chance of survival would have been zero. Today, thanks to many advances in medical science, and the financial support of people all over the world, Carlee has a 9 in 10 chance of beating her leukemia.
As good as 90% sounds, there's still another 10% to go. This year, 118,310 people will be diagnosed with a blood cancer and an estimated 54,400 people will die. This accounts for 9.5% of all cancer related deaths. Your support for organziations like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will ensure that that number continues to decline.
Please make a donation to support my participation in the Man & Woman of the Year competition. Your contribution will help people like Carlee and myself win the battle against blood cancers. Be sure to check my Web site frequently to see my progress. Thanks for your support!
If you're interested in reading more about my fight with Hodgkins, please visit my online journal.