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Sunday, May 30, 2010

GG Cares About Leukemia Lymphoma

One favorite plot device of writers, especially Television drama writers is for their hero or heroine to be diagnosed with lymphoma. After weeks, maybe months of deteriorating health, the character makes a miraculous recovery, usually just in time for sweeps.

 Lymphoma and leukemia are blood cancers that originate in the bone marrow or the lymphatic tissues. They are related cancers because they involve uncontrollable growth of cells with similar functions and origins. One single damaged cell becomes abnormal and multiplies continuously. All of the bad cells stops the body's production of healthy cells. The reality however is not as pretty as TV would have us believe, unfortunately many people do not survive, and if they do rebuilding their life is not easy.

Take the De Villers. Back in 1949 they were devastated when they lost their young son Robert, he was only  16 years old. to leukemia. Instead of becoming depressed, the family took action and founded the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). The organizations mission is to "Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS has dedicated itself to being one of the top-rated voluntary health agencies in terms of dollars that directly fund our mission."

Part of  LLS is Team In Training. TNT as it commonly called was founded by Bruce Clealand, whose daughter Georgia had survived Leukemia. the avid runner put together a team of runner to to  run a marathon and  raise funds. In 1988, when it was founded they raised over $322,000!!! Because of Bruce and the Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter of  LLS TNT was founded and has been going strong ever since.

For Gossiper Jennifer Bridges the cause hits very close to home. One of her dearest friends was diagnosed with Lymphoma and has been bravely battling the disease since September. Here is what Jennifer says in her own words. "I'm personally taking part in this because a good friend of mine is a lymphoma patient. He finished chemo in January, but the cancer was back just six weeks later. He's currently taking an experimental drug in the hopes it will, at the very least, slow down or stop the progression of the disease. While surfing the internet for more information about the drug, I came across a link to Team in Training, and immediately realized I HAD to sign up. Through TNT, you can choose to train for a marathon, a half-marathon walk, a 100-mile bike ride, a triathalon, or a hiking adventure. I chose the hike, partially because it seemed interesting, and partially because it's the event my friend would do if he were able. To participate in this hike, I need to raise a minimum of $3650 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, but I'd like to try for an even $4K."

 This is a call Gossipers, please help Jen raise enough money to go on this hike and help her friend as well as all of the other cancer patients around the world. To donate click here

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