Matching Gifts…? What’s that?!

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How is your fundraising going? Do you have a bunch of fun fundraiser events and campaigns scheduled? Doing the same successful ideas that you’ve done over and over the last few years?

Have you heard of Matching Gifts… No?
Well how do you feel about “free money?” That’s basically what a matching gift is.
You can  continue to have amazing events and fundraisers and raise the funds the same way you always have, but how about we double those numbers!

See companies below that we know match your donation. All you have to do is let them know you’ve donated and if you, a team walker, a spouse, a relative work there…have them submit a request to match donations. How does that sound?

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If you see a company you are connected with contact them! It’s that simple.

Call the Light The Night Staff at (508) 810-1342 if you have any more questions about Matching Gifts!

Happy Fundraising!

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March To A Million

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Join us in helping our National Team Salesforce.com in their March To A Million this year!

In 2015 Salesforce raised an amazing $563,763 making them the #5 National Light The Night Team overall. Their team goal for 2016 is to raise $1,000,000 and if the team hits their goal, their CEO Marc Benioff, will personally match this amount making their total fundraising efforts 2 MILLION dollars which could potentially make them the #2  National Light The Night Team.

Please watch this amazing video from Salesforce.com – Click Here

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk funds  life-saving research and support for people battling cancer.  Friends, families and co-workers form fundraising teams and millions of consumers help by donating at retail outlets.  These efforts culminate in inspirational, memorable evening walks in nearly two hundred communities each fall across North America.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) funded research aims at helping all blood cancer patients live longer, healthier lives.  We will continue to support research through our  innovative and integrated funding programs, until every patient has a safe and effective  therapy.  Currently LLS:

  • Supports research programs in the U.S., Canada, and seven   other countries.
  • Provides services including family support groups, free seminars, direct patient financial aid and co-pay assistance.
  • Educates through our Information Resource Center.
  • Advocates to policy makers at all levels of government.

Come Join Us at our Light The Night Walks this year!  Register Here

 

Rushing Towards a Cure

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Congratulations Takeda Oncology and THANK YOU for participating the Rushing Towards a Cure for 11 years now! This fundraiser has been so impactful for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society over the years and with the positive energies and victories of the Home Team we can continue to reach new accomplishments in funding research to find cures for blood cancer.

Beat AML initiative

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“(As of today,) our website, lls.org, now features more information about acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and LLS’s priority Beat AML initiative.  LLS is leading the offensive against AML, which has not had a change in the standard of care in 40 years and remains one of the most lethal cancers. But we are making significant progress!  LLS had the vision to make a “down payment” for patients with AML in 2009 by partnering with Celator Pharmaceuticals to advance CPX-351, an innovative formulation of two existing therapies, which recently outperformed standard therapy in a Phase 3 clinical trial. This investment has the potential to pay off significantly as the first new treatment in 40 years for patients diagnosed with AML.

Now, through our Beat AML initiative, LLS has convened an unprecedented collaboration of renowned academic researchers, pharmaceutical companies, genomics experts and government, to bring to bear all of our combined resources to develop more effective, precisely targeted treatments for patients diagnosed with AML.”

  • Per Dr. Lou DeGennaro, PhD

 

Also check out these links below to learn more from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Beat AML Initiative:
https://www.lls.org/beat-aml
http://www.lls.org/content/what-is-beat-aml

The Inspiration Initiative – Jessica Moran, 2016 Honored Hero

Please meet one of our Honored Heroes of the 2016 Boston Light The Night! This is Jessica Moran. She is a true inspiration. There isn’t much that I could write in this week’s blog about Jessica that she hasn’t already said, photographed and lived. Please go to her blog, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube and see just how strong, beautiful and amazing Ms. Moran is!

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Blog: https://inspirationinitiative.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inspirationinitiative
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessy_moran

 

And last but certainly not least…You must click on her YouTube and watch her videos!
This was specifically for an Applebee’s fundraiser…
https://youtu.be/0ttf1bRKgJk

 

Keep on moving forward Jessica and we at the Massachusetts Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society cannot wait to see you in Boston!!

Life After for the ‘Lost Generation.’

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“You learn quickly that cancer is an inhospitable house guest: It shows up when you’re least prepared and leaves your place ransacked with no money for a maid.” – Andrew McMahon stated in his patient-advice column for the US News on October 26, 2015.

While we continue to improve treatments and lifespans of those touched by cancer, there is one “lost generation,” that continues to look for more outlets and more efficient treatment plans and therapies and even facilities to complete their journey after diagnosis. The adolescent and young adults are in quite the in between when it comes to these medical advances. Many times doctors and hospitals either place these patients in facilities with children much younger than themselves, or quite the opposite, in facilities with patients sometimes 20 years their senior. It makes for the process to be just that much more grueling on the young cancer fighter.

Many times people who are not directly affected by cancer(s), don’t see the exhausting journey a cancer patient and/or survivor must go through. The entire process can put a large toll on a person’s emotions, body, finances and even relationships, friends, families and significant others alike. Besides physical setbacks, such as feeling “older,” not having enough energy as you once did or even scars, or weight change, this generation can also be struck with financial burdens due to insufficient insurances/job benefits and even high student loans. Not only are we asking this youth to come out with a successful cancer eliminating procedure, but we are now pushing them into the real world with many other burdens placed on heavy shoulders.

Andrew McMahon, now in his early-thirties is a 10-year leukemia survivor and an influential singer-songwriter. Some would know him from former projects such as Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate or his recent solo project, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Through McMahon’s cancer treatment he was placed in a facility with others while beyond his own years. Getting the support and understanding therapy options that were offered around him didn’t connect to his youth and emotions he was feeling. The place in his life that he was currently experiencing was entirely different than the other patients around him. While going through his own treatments he could see how this “lost generation” needed a voice to advocate and show what was needed most, support.

McMahon has since started a  charitable foundation called Dear Jack Foundation (dearjackfoundation.com) that supports and advocates for the adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer.

amm_wilderness_bg2Andrew McMahon, photo shoot for his Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness project.

The best way to help is be an advocate for those who don’t have a voice. Be a support system for those who just need some assistant to get their voice heard. And those of us who aren’t completing cancer treatments can just be patient, be understanding, but importantly just be there for our loved ones.

Knowles, Kimarie. “Young Adults: Coping with Life After Cancer.” Smithl. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Apr. 2016. Web. 29 Apr. 2016. <http://www.lls.org/blog/young-adults-coping-with-life-after-cancer>.

McMahon, Andrew. “Singer Andrew McMahon on the ‘Lost Generation’ of Young Adult Cancer Patients.” U.S News and World Report. U.S News and World Report, 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2016. <http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/10/26/singer-andrew-mcmahon-on-the-lost-generation-of-young-adult-cancer-patients>.

Life after cancer, a childhood cancer survivor looks back at growing up with stomach aches

Sally Ekus

Twenty five years ago I was sitting in my bedroom playing doctor with my dolls. My grandmother, who was babysitting me that day, overheard me say to my dolls that they had to take their pills or they were going to die.

At the time I was going through intensive chemotherapy for my ALL diagnosis. The treatment was so rough on my little body that the doctors decided to give me a break and take me off all meds. Apparently my unconscious mind was scared by this and in my pretend play with my dolls it came through. My grandma told my parents what she heard and they immediately began giving me a children’s multivitamin each morning so I would have a pill to swallow. I was so young; I didn’t know the difference between a vitamin and prednisone.

Fast forward to this past August when I celebrated 25 years cancer free.  For all intents and purposes I consider myself really healthy. This past October I completed my 3rd Team in Training endurance event. It is hard to believe that the same little body that was too weak to walk upstairs all those years ago has completed full marathons! Even more shocking is how much I thought I hated running.

Growing up I led a fairly normal life–considering. Once I was declared cured the doctors sent me on my way. I played sports, JV but still. I went out with my friends, and I went off to college. But when I got to college, stomach aches I had suffered my whole life rapidly got worse. The pain was so debilitating that at times I couldn’t walk to class and often in the morning I would get sick to my stomach.

Because of my medical history I had all kinds of tests done. Blood panels, full work ups, ultrasounds, and even a colonoscopy. I was barely twenty years old and had a colonoscopy, not fun! But every doctor I saw said I was fine. I started to question if it was all in my head; if the pain I was feeling wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Back when I was in treatment, there were few, if any, studies or even conversations happening around the long-term effects of chemo. How I was I supposed to know that the severe stomach aches I had all my life could be linked to the chemo my 4 year old body endured? It seems so obvious now, but 25 years ago all that mattered was that the cancer was gone.

It turns out that I have severe food intolerances and my body can’t digest many common foods. So far there is no way to know for sure that chemo directly caused these intolerances, but I wonder if anyone else out there has experienced something similar after going through intensive chemotherapy?

The list of the foods I must avoid is really specific in that I must avoid gluten, any dairy that comes from a cow (that means cream, milk, butter…you know the good stuff). I also cannot eat any chicken eggs, and I have to avoid all mustard. I mean who has a mustard allergy!?

As I have uncovered the foods to avoid, I have been tested for hundreds of food reactions.  It turns out my gut is really damaged and I had a reaction to every single food on the allergy panel. I remember getting the results and the nutritionist saying “Wow, no one has ever had even a low level reaction to every food” as if I had won some prize. It turns out recurring pain I have battled for what seems like my whole life may all be linked back to the same drugs that saved my life.

Believe me; I know how lucky I am to be alive. But the long-term effects of those toxic drugs need to be addressed. It is one of the many reasons I raise money for LLS. Funding research for life saving drugs is incredibly important, and so is funding research for long-term effects of drug treatments. Donor funding, Light the Night walks, Team in Training, Man and Woman of the Year and other campaigns from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are why I am alive today.

The quality of life after cancer is improving by the day. If you had asked me even 5 years ago if I would be writing about my food intolerances on the LLS Light the Night blog I would have said no.

I was focused on looking forward, trying to find new doctors who specialize in food intolerances, allergies, gut health. I didn’t think anyone noticed, cared, or that it even mattered what happens after you get the cured card.  It never occurred to me to look back, to request my medical files and start back at the beginning. But with the research improving the survival rates, quality of life and investments in less toxic therapies are more important than ever.

I still don’t know if I will be able to have children. I still don’t know exactly how to heal my body from the inside out. But I do know how lucky I am to have incredible care, doctors, and support. I know that the money we raise together is why the children going through treatment today, will be able to live happy and healthy lives tomorrow.

Thank you for listening to part of my story. Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram for some creative recipe ideas.

 -Written by Sally Ekus. ALL survivor, Team In Training (TNT) alumni, Light The Night volunteer, and Society Connection co-chair.