Friday, September 25, 2015

Cancers of the Blood

Oh my goodness, has it really been so long since I have written?? Yikes! I have wished to be at my computer so many times, recording our lives and my feelings about all that is taking place in our family, and yet I have not made it. Ugh! Well, today is a new day, and I am hoping to get back on track here. I have no idea how many, if any, read this blog, but it doesn't change my purpose in writing. I write for my children, and I can't wait to share it all with them some day (because I know they are going to appreciate it like nothing else! ha!).

As much as I'm dying to start recording the goings on around here, I'm actually going to take a few minutes today to write about something totally random--random, that is, if you have not been affected by it. If you have, this topic suddenly becomes very personal and even difficult to think about it. I'm talking about the blood cancers leukemia and lymphoma. September is Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month, and as it seems like these terrible diseases are affecting more and more people, I think it is important to raise awareness and work together to find cures.

Although I have been fortunate enough to have escaped the horror of watching a family member suffer from blood cancer of any form, I know others who have not been so lucky. I have seen children who are fighting this disease so they can live to fulfill their dreams, and I know adults who have suffered as well.

One person who was dear to me as I grew up was my high school volleyball coach's wife, Kris. She was such a great example of kindness and goodness and unselfishness. One time when I was going through a particularly difficult struggle, she was there to comfort me and reassure me, as my own mother would have had she been there. Kris was one of those people everyone loved because she was genuine and good to the core. Maybe it was in part due to the fact that she suffered from Hodgkin's Disease as a teenager, and at a young age had to face the battle of fighting a very serious blood cancer. She won the battle for many years and was able to graduate, marry and experience motherhood. But in the end, effects from the cancer caused multiple health issues that eventually took her life as a young mother. This was a devastating experience for her family and those who knew and loved her.

Hodgkin's disease is a type of lymphoma, a cancer that starts in white blood cells. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 8,500 people are diagnosed with lymphoma each year, most of them being between the ages of 16 and 34 years old. That is during the prime of their lives!

I am sure there are avenues where we all can help, but one I know if is the Holland C Gregg IV Research Fund. Patience Brewster , an artist and designer of handcrafted gifts and ornaments who lost her son to Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2002, designs a special Christmas ornament every year to raise research funding toward a cure for these type of cancers. This seems like a great way to contribute to finding a cure! I hope that nobody who read this post today has ever been affected by lymphoma or any other type of cancer, but either way, there's so much good a few of us can do by just helping a little.

Until next time (which should be soon!) . . .