Grandpa and me, Christmas Day, 1978.
Also known as the day I came home from the hospital.

My grandpa smoked a pipe. And he was good at building things out of wood. He took me fishing at the park one time. I kind of remember going to a state fair…I think. And if we tried to sit in “his” chair, he’d sit on us.

When I think of my grandpa, those are the things that come to mind. I wish I had more memories; I wish I’d had more time to get to know him.

I’m not sure what we were doing here . . . but we were having fun!

Unfortunately, my dad’s dad died 15 years ago. Cancer was the culprit. In particular, a blood cancer, the exact kind of disease fought by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – my former employer and charity of choice.

Tomorrow I’ll join my grandma, my parents, my aunts and uncles, and my cousins in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk. We’ll carry illuminated balloons, push strollers and wagons, and chat as we walk the two-mile route.

For several years now, we’ve worked together to raise money for research and patient services. And this year is no different.

Except . . . this year, I haven’t done any fundraising.

I got a message from my cousin Steve on Facebook yesterday, informing me that my former co-workers at the Society said hello – and shamed me for not raising any money to fight cancer.

Steve has raised hundreds of dollars.

I’m sure you can understand why my competitive side has started kicking in . . .

  • Will you help me beat my cousin?
  • Or, if you’re a more sentimental sort, honor my Grandpa?
  • Or, if you’re practical yet giving, support the fight against cancer?

A donation to my Light the Night team will do all of those things and more.

Any amount donated truly does help. During the three years I worked for the Society, I learned that the five-year survival rate for someone diagnosed with leukemia is now more than 50% – it used to be just 14%. And while the survival rate for Hodgkin’s disease used to be just 40%, it’s now more than 85%!

Research – the very kind funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – made these things possible.

This progress is incredible, but there’s still so much work to be done. Because while those stats are encouraging, the fact remains that every ten minutes, someone dies from a blood cancer.

Every 10 minutes.

Will you help me fund the research that will end these deadly diseases once and for all? Will you help me provide services – like support groups, financial aid and educational programs – for those fighting cancer?

(Will you help me redeem myself with my family and friends by helping me meet my fundraising goal?)

It’s super easy to donate: just visit my fundraising page and click away.

(I’m linking to Things I Love Thursday this week – because I love online fundraising!)

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