Friday, June 24, 2011

Worthy Causes

Since my initial diagnosis, I've learned the importance of a support network, resources, and cancer research. Millions of cancer patients benefit from all three. Below I've outlined some great ways to help in the fight against cancer.

  • Support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Tammy, a friend of my good friend Michele, is raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. She will be running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco in October. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has been a tremendous resource for me. Its educational materials helped me understand my diagnosis and prognosis. In two weeks, I will be attending a support group meeting organized by the society. And of course, they fund research.

  • Support the American Cancer Society - My dear friend, Sarah, who was a bridesmaid in my wedding, will be running the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon on behalf of the American Cancer Society in August. She chose this as her cause because of my battle. She's such a sweetheart. My Aunt Laura works for the American Cancer Society, and has been providing me with connections and resources available through this amazing organization.

  • Help Jeff's Fight Against Leukemia - Yesterday I learned of a fellow Wisconsin native and University of Minnesota alum who was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), with the Philadelphia strand. I was devastated by the news. Jeff Tomczek is in the hospital now. He is 27. My heart goes out to him and his family, and I hope that I am able to connect with him to offer my support. A few years ago, his prognosis would have been dim. However, according to my oncologist, there have been recent advancements in treatment that make his outlook much brighter. Unfortunately, Jeff is a self-employed entrepreneur, who does not have health insurance. I am so fortunate to work for a great company with a very good insurance plan. I can't imagine what it would be like to have financial angst on top of the health angst. His treatment regimen will be somewhat similar to mine, except different drugs. In some cases, stronger, more expensive drugs.

I've added a section of Links in the left-hand column,which includes the oranizations and ways to donate referenced above. If any other runners or fundraisers out there would like me to add links to their pages, I'd be pleased to do so.