This is the bracelet that I wear for my father-in-law Dave. I wrote about Dave awhile back when we found out that he had Lymphoma. Luckily, after Dave put up a huge fight and with the help of fabulous doctors and treatment, we were able to celebrate his remission.
I know how lucky we are. I know that the chances that he would respond positively to treatment, based on the severity of his case, were basically 50/50 towards survival over five years. (You'd be amazed how small those chances seem when it involves one you love.) I thank God often that He spared Dave so that he could stay here with us. I see my son's eyes light up when he sees his Papa and I just want to cry because I'm so grateful.
I also know that there is a chance that it might come back and that we might not be so fortunate next time. (Not trying to be negative but have to be realistic.) I know that there are approximately 75,000 people in the United States that will be diagnosed with Lymphoma this year and that around 20,000 of them will not be as lucky as Dave and will NOT survive it*.
I'm not trying to be a pessimist. I know that no matter what happens, Dave will continue to fight this disease. If he's fortunate, it won't come back. I'm confident that based on sheer stubbornness, no matter what happens, we'll have Dave with us for a long time.
We know that there is more than one way to fight because we are (as a family) participating in the 2010 Light The Night Walk to "bring help and hope to people battling blood cancers"**. We are doing it for Dave and for all of those like him who have fought and are fighting this disease.
So...here's where you come in. (I know you were waiting for the pitch...lol.) Our family has committed to participating in the 2010 Light The Night Walk that is taking place at Target Field in Minneapolis on Sunday, September 26, 2010. Our family has pledged to raise $5000 towards research and education for a cure to this monster disease. We need your help.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation (even $1 would be fantastic). You can do so by visiting http://pages.lightthenight.org/mn/TwinCiti10/MinnesotaJo to donate online quickly & securely.
I know that you are asked to donate to various causes often and it's easy to just click the little "x" in the window and pretend you didn't see the request. If you really can't afford it then please don't feel you have to donate. Just send a kind thought or prayer to the ones who are still suffering and I'll be happy as can be. But if you can afford it, please consider making a donation. It could make all the difference in the world to someone fighting this disease.
Oh, and before I forget, I've made a couple of promises for various ways to show my gratitude via Twitter. I will honor each and every one of those promises, especially the one I said I'd do if I reached my personal goal of $1000 in donations. If you want to know what those promises were...well...I guess you're gonna just have to follow me to find out. ;)
*Stats courtesy of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society webpage. **Quote from The Light The Night Walk page.