Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blogging for Blood Cancer, Part I.

This week, members of the fundraising team Friends of Heroes are blogging to bring more awareness to blood cancer. Though I am no longer a member of this team due to my commitment to Heroes for Children, I support their efforts and choose to participate in the Blogging for Blood Cancer. Friends of Heroes raises funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in search of a cure. Originally created in support of our sweet Allie, they have done incredible things for research in the fight against leukemia.

The goal during the Blogging for Blood Cancer event is to share our experiences with blood cancer and how it affects others. It's my intent to do a three part blog on this topic. The first, will focus on LLS and my experience with blood cancers. The second will focus on the need for blood donations, and the third will focus on what I believe families are going through (with of course, some HFC discussion in there).

Here we go, I'm blogging for blood cancer...

Until 2004, I knew nothing of leukemia. I didn't even understand that leukemia meant CANCER. It was something I heard about, watching the sad commercials about St. Jude, and didn't reflect upon. It was so far from my reality, and frankly, I didn't want to think about it. But it all changed Monday, May 3, 2004. My pediatrician believed my baby, my sweet four month old angelic little girl, had leukemia. I didn't understand about blood cancer and it's effects until my little girl had cancer. And the mere thought of it was torture--my BABY had CANCER.

I remember my body going limp at the news. I remember the fear and the look of pain in my husband's eyes. Sadly, I remember it all. Of course, if you are new to our story, you can read it here.

Leukemia didn't ruin my life. It may have destroyed my child's body, but it didn't ruin her life. It never destroyed her spirit. Nothing could possibly destroy the spirit of my baby. But, while it didn't destroy us, it most certainly changed us. Our lives will never be the same.

One day, I hope that another mother will not go limp hearing the news that her baby has leukemia. Through the research and support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, that news is getting a little easier. In the past few years, the efforts of Friends of Heroes has helped further research through a pediatric cancer research grant. I remember Allie's oncologist telling us about leukemia. He said that he believed if they could find the cure to leukemia, they just might find the cure to all cancers. Think about it--the cure to cancer. Wouldn't that be a miracle?

I can't tell you how much I want there to be no more leukemia. No more need for bone marrow or stem cell transplants to help cure this disease. No more children like my beautiful Allie dying. And I hope that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society can help with this.

If you want to get involved with Friends of Heroes, find a Light the Night walk in your area. Check the Friends of Heroes website to see how you can make a difference in the fight against blood cancer and the road to a CURE for leukemia. There are other ways to be involved. For example, you can run a half or full marathon through Team in Training. My mother-in-law, Frances, serves as a member of the local chapter Board of Directors of LLS, and trains through Team in Training. This will be her second half marathon through TNT. Her next event is in October, at the Nike Women's marathon. Thanks to our blog supporters who helped support her fundraising efforts. It's not too late, you can still make a donation to her fundraising. Every person participating in Light the Night, through teams such as Friends of Heroes, Team in Training such as Frances, and other events in support of LLS, are helping propel the necessary research to find a cure.


*Lissa* said...

I just wanted to say what a wonderful experience I had with Team In Training last year. It was so rewarding to cross that finish line and know I had raised money for such an awesome cause. There were cancer survivors all along the race course cheering us on, it was so inspirational!

Goodies for Mom said...

Thank you so much Jenny for your wonderful post and support for this event.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jenny! I'm glad you wrote this!


Graycesmomma said...

Jenny, this is my first time commenting (just started blogging), but I have followed your story since the days of BabyCenter. I myself never knew what leukemia was until I had read your story. I have done LTN for the past few years because of Allie and I just wanted to let you know that I truly admire the way that you honor your daughter's legacy daily. You are truly an inspiration!

Heather said...

I just took a moment to do my part and did a post on my blog, I also put links to visit the Blogging for Blood Cancer sites and the donation link as well.