Monday, September 26, 2011
Light The Night
On October 15th my husband Eric, my son Sammy and I will be walking in this year's Washington, DC Light the Night walk for Leukemia & Lymphoma and we need your help. Leukemia and lymphoma and other blood diseases have affected both our families for more than three decades, far too many in my opinion. Here are our stories.
In December 1993, more than 10 years before I met him, my husband Eric and his family received some news that changed their lives forever. That was the month his mother, Nancy, received a diagnosis of Acute myeloid leukemia. I don't know too much about that time of their lives other than it was incredibly rough. Then, in April 1994, just a month or two before Eric graduated from his MBA program before starting his PhD program, his mother passed away after months of treatments.
Unfortunately Nancy is not the only person we know who has been touched by Leukemia or Lymphoma.
In 1980, soon after my family moved back to Virginia after years of military transfers, I learned about non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I don't remember if that was the first time I actually heard that term or not, but I do know that one of my mother's best friends was going through radiation treatment for the disease. My mother would drive her to treatments while I babysat her youngest child who was probably not even two at the time.
In fall 1988 a friend and fellow choir singer at my very small college passed away from Hodgkins Disease.
In 1992 I met a Hodgkins survivor. His greatest fears - a relapse and not being able to have children due to the treatments he had to endure.
In 2004, right after his 60th anniversary to his wonderful wife (and a favorite aunt) and their granddaughter's wedding, my great-uncle let us know that he was going through treatment for leukemia. He passed away in November 2005, just months after Eric & my wedding, ironically from a car accident and not from leukemia. Regardless of how he passed, he fought leukemia with as much strength and vigor as he lived. This is saying a great deal as he played golf and doubles tennis well past his 90th birthday.
And most recently - in 2011 a young girl, only 8, who is the daughter of a good friend from high school was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and is currently undergoing treatments in Atlanta. If you have been reading my blog or my Facebook posts you have probably heard Abby Boone's story. She is a very brave little girl with an amazing family and a mother who will not quit - thank goodness!
In my opinion, one person with cancer is one too many people with cancer. For a long time I could not imagine what it must feel like to have leukemia or lymphoma. To have a disease that is essentially your blood attacking you. Then I discovered that I have Factor V Leiden, a genetic disorder that affects at least 5% of the population and causes an increased chance of blood clots. No, Factor V Leiden is not cancer, not even close, but having it increases the chance that your own blood - the life force of your own body - can cause your death, just like those living every day with Leukemia and Lymphoma.
If you have read this far, you probably know what's next. We need your help. As part of our walk we are attempting to raise $300. As of today we have Eric's fundraising page up and running - Sammy and my pages will be coming next. Sponsor one of us, sponsor all of us - but each of us wants to raise $100 for a total of $300.
And you know what - I have such amazing friends and family I am sure we can make that and more.
Here is where you need to go to help us reach our goal of $300 - http://pages.lightthenight.org/nca/WashDC11/EMooreptl. Please, give what you can, forward this blog and ask your friends and family to help us as well.
No one should be told their mother, uncle, friend or child is suffering from a blood cancer and no one, NO ONE should go through it alone. Help us Light the Night and put blood cancers to bed for good.