Cancer is a an ugly thing. To put it frankly and colloquially, it sucks. Even suckier is that, sadly, it’s on the rise. It pains me to know that if you’re reading this, you likely know, or will know, someone who will struggle with the disease.
In the face of that overwhelmingly gloomy thought, I decided last month to do get off my butt and do something about it. I’ve joined Team in Training and have committed to raising $1400 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to fund research to fight these blood cancers — and other types of cancer! More on that in a second.
But beyond that — comically, if you know me from my music and nightlife journalism and related escapades — I’ve committed to running a half-marathon with the team. Seriously.
In January, I’ll be barely crawling my way through the ING Miami Half Marathon, although hopefully by then I’ll have graduated to running shoes I didn’t score for free at a nightclub. (Thanks, Asics, for the pair you gave me at the Vagabond that I’m currently grinding to rubbery stumps.)
So what are blood cancers? They include leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma… Here’s the bad news about them:
- There’s no known cure.
- Leukemia remains a leading cause of cancer-related death in children.
- Leukemia and lymphoma are the leading fatal cancers in young men under 35.
- Every four minutes, someone is newly diagnosed with a blood cancer.
- Every 10 minutes, another child or adult is expected to die from a blood-related cancer.
- 957,902 Americans are presently living with or are in remission from leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, NHL (Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), or myeloma…
…and one of those is my awesome mom, for whom I owe so much of my sense of humor, outlook on life, resourcefulness, and a lot of other things you might like about me if you’re reading this.
She’s kicking NHL’s butt, and a couple other people close to me are currently fighting blood cancers as well. I will be racing in honor of them, and with your help, I would like to help run this disease into the ground.
Would you kindly consider extending some generosity and donating to my cause? Not only do you get to feel warm and fuzzy, but you get to laugh at the thought of me huffing and puffing at 6 a.m. (or even earlier, I’ve been frighteningly warned) on a Saturday morning. And here are just a few bits of good news about blood cancers:
- In 1960, the five-year survival rate for children with the most common form of leukemia was just 4 percent. Today, it is 85%!
- A newly FDA approved drug, Gleevec, has been shown to normalize blood counts in nearly all patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). As a result of the success of Gleevec, in 2007, the relative five-year survival rate for CML patients is now at 74.8%.
- Hodgkin lymphoma is now considered one of the most curable forms of cancer, thanks to radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of the two.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has had a huge hand in helping with a silver lining. Since 1949, LLS has invested more than $750 million in research, and $72 million in the year 2010 alone.
Society-funded research has directly contributed to many breakthrough cancer treatments including chemotherapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, and new, targeted oral therapies like Gleevec.
But that’s not all — the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society also funds research that contributes to many other kinds of cancers, including stomach, breast, and lung cancers. The hope now, is that all blood cancers will be curable by 2015, and the LLS won’t stop until it puts itself out of business.
No donation is too small, all are very much appreciated, and even the cost of just a couple of cocktails on South Beach makes a real difference in a patient’s life. Just click THIS LINK, to see some concrete examples of how different levels of donation directly help people.
Besides my everlasting, undying gratitude, I’m sweetening the pot, as inspired by friends’ artistic fundraisers on sites like Kickstarter. I’m offering a few tokens, DESCRIBED AT THIS LINK, to show my deep appreciation. For instance, if you’ve ever asked me about writing a bio, press release, anything like that, check it out.
But in general, if you’ve ever liked anything I’ve written, done, said, whatever; if you would enjoy goofy pictures of me training at times when I used to go to bed; or if you, like me, just really, really hate cancer, I hope sincerely you’ll contribute to the cause.
Thanks very much for the consideration and I appreciate you even taking the time to read this!
In the meantime, I’ll also be blogging my training experiences, fun workout music, healthy recipes, and everything else related here on Tumblr! Thanks for reading.
Please visit this link to visit Arielle Castillo’s Team in Training fundraiser page.
With deep gratitude,