A Happy and Thankful Life



Light the Night

Tonight was Light the Night in my town. This is the fourth year that I’ve raised money. This is the first LTN since J died.

J and I felt very strongly about raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He made me promise numerous times that I would continue to raise money for LLS if something happened to him. I never thought I would have to do it without him. This year, I didn’t sign up until September. As I was writing why I walked for my donation page, I cried. A lot. This isn’t the way it is supposed to be. But it is.

Today, I am hours away at a conference. Which, for my emotional state, is a good thing. I was terrified about going to the walk by myself. This conference gave me a good reason. J would have wanted me to go to the conference. As I wasn’t going to be there, I was concerned about not getting his flowers. Our LLS chapter has a sweet Honor and Memorial Garden. I submitted J’s information for the previous two years as a survivor to give hope to others. This year, I did it in memory. I didn’t want to his pictures and flowers to be left behind. A sweet friend was willing to help me with my request. She went and picked up his flowers and balloons. Without asking, she also took two pictures for me that I really wanted to see but couldn’t ask. It is wonderful when you have friends that know what you need without asking. She even took a picture of the balloons blinking. She is amazing.

I’ve teared up a bit more than I wanted to, especially while in a professional setting. I was able to keep it together until the sun set. As such, I don’t think I can write any more. Just know that I’m thankful for my kind friends that donated money and T for getting the flowers so that my heart would be calm. I’m also thankful for my friends here that were able to distract me as they knew I desperately needed it. They did a pretty good job. I’m very blessed to have them in my life.

 

And to finish this up, here is what is on my donation page. I’m not strong enough to re-write it. 

I walk for J.

His battle with AML began in January 2008 and ended in June 2011. The past three years were a challenge but J made the most of his time. He saw his team, the New York Yankees, play in both the old and current stadium. He got to see his beautiful nieces become young ladies. He was able to celebrate his best friend getting married and having kids. We were married. He graduated and was excited to begin grad school in the fall to become a teacher. He had fun. J made the best of the time he was allowed.

J’s wish throughout his battle was that we continued to donate and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He wanted to help others as he had been helped. They supplied us with information and support through out the past three years. Most importantly, money raised in previous years supported research that allowed J to live as long as possible. In the 1980’s, a patient diagnosed with AML had a 4% survival rate. Today the survival rate is much higher but not high enough. Other blood cancer survival rates have also had increases in survival rate. The research funded by generous donors makes that possible. It gives patients and families hope.

When we found out he had relapsed in April, he made me promise that no matter what happened, I would continue to raise money and donate to LLS. While he can’t benefit from their programs and research funding, other patients and families will. J would want that.

Please consider donating in memory of J and in honor of all the patients that continue to fight blood cancer. Any donation, regardless of the size, makes a big impact. Thank you for your support.

love, me

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