Once school starts I barely have time to come up for air, but here I am again. We only have two more weekends before the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training hike in Zion National Park on October 2nd. Training for the hike is the easy part. It’s the fund-raising that is my biggest challenge, and that of course is the most important part. That is what moves research forward and supports patients and their families. We have made so much progress since I was young. Back then leukemia was a death sentence. Now most of the 3000 children diagnosed with leukemia this year are expected to become five year survivors. However this year over 54,000 people will die from cancer this year, and each death will affect a large circle of family, friends, and co-workers.
I am raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society because my first encounter with cancer was watching the struggle of a 5th grade student, an only child, and her parents as they rode the roller coaster of hope and fear that is leukemia. We at her school helped the family raise money for a bone marrow transplant, and then for a second one, and in the end attended her funeral and gave what support we could to her parents as they learned how to be the parents of a child who would never attend high school, never walk down the aisle, never give them grandchildren. The school where I currently teach lost one student to cancer last year, and another student and one of our teachers are still undergoing treatment.
Whether your life has been touched by leukemia or some other kind of cancer, or whether you have been so blessed that you have not had a close encounter with this disease, please help by visiting my fund-raising page. (See the link to the right.) Research for any cancer helps combat all cancers. Every donation, large or small, helps new research that builds on the success of research funded in previous years. You can be part of this long chain of hope.
Yesterday was one of those beautiful Colorado days where the sky is such a deep blue that people who have never seen it think photographs have been doctored. Friday night’s winds had cleared out all the smoke from the Fourmile fire, and everything–plants, rocks, and distant hills, glowed with intense color. A few of the aspen on Twin Sisters Peak, near Estes Park, were just beginning to change color. Here are a few pictures–undoctored–to enjoy before you click that donation button.