Zach Sobiech, at the age of 14, found out he had a rare form of terminal cancer. Since, he has touched millions with his music. Yesterday, on May 20, 2013, he passed away.
My wife and I are running our first (and very likely last!) marathon in just a handful of days. Last week my wife and I ran 20 miles together. This feat was only possible thanks to the amazing support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training volunteers. In exchange for their support on our training runs, we are fundraising a combined $6,000 to help fight cancers of the blood.
Throughout the past months of marathon training, my focus has been on the challenge before me. Honestly, I haven’t paid much attention to the cause of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; not because it wasn’t important, but because I felt overwhelmed by the number of causes I fundraise and support.
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Young Survivors Coalition (breast cancer)
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Over the past decade I have biked for a number of causes. Most of you know this because you have probably already donated once or twice (or more!) in support — thank you!
I’ve become sorta “numb” to this cause because, no matter how noble, it seemed like just another cause. But here’s when it hit me — leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children, adolescents and young adults under the age of 20.
Imagine being a parent and having your kid diagnosed with cancer. Odds are, it will be leukemia.
Don’t have kids? Imagine being a kid, diagnosed with cancer. Odds are, it will be leukemia.
What do you do when, as one of those kids, you only have months left to live?”
Zach’s response: embrace every day with joy.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. And a lot of progress is being made. In 1960s, the 5-year survival rate of the most common type of childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was less than 10%. Today, it is 90%.
A large part of that progress is from those who donate to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Those donations go far — 75% of their total expenses support cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services. This exceptional percentage is made possible by all the tens of thousands that volunteer their time and energy.
I am directly affected by these volunteers every training run — not only do they man the water stops every few miles, but they are out there running next to me every Wednesday and Saturday — and sometimes even picking me up and giving me a ride in their van when my body fails me with an injury at mile 12 (thanks Bruce!).
Jessica and I are $1,000 short of our $6,000 goal, which we have to raise in a few more days. True, your donation may result in you winning one of six prize raffles. And true, your donation will help me afford the training necessary to get my fat, heavy body across 26.2 miles. But more importantly, your donation will make a difference in someone’s life affected by blood cancer.