Monday, November 9, 2009

Final Tally - Light the Night

With all donations in, Team Suzie collected a total of $1,730.58 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - quite a feat!  The goal I set for the team was for me to raise $1000 and then for each additional team member to raise $100 - and we met our goal.  Thanks again so much to the entire team!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Update from Mom & Dad's blog

I wanted to paste in a post from the blog my parents maintain regarding my mom's health:

Friday, October 23, 2009

We're delighted to report that our meeting with Suzie's donor went well. We met him, and his parents, at a restaurant in St. Louis where Bruce and Suzie had well over an hour to both eat and learn more about each other. He's as kind as we hoped and is even willing to spend time counseling a donor brought into the fold by the drive Lisa engineered earlier this year. This is all so amazing.

Last week, we traveled to Boston to spend time with Lisa, to participate in a 'Light the Night' fund raising walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and to help raise funds for the MPD Foundation. Although back to back Northeasters forced us to cancel on the walk, Suzie and Lisa raised more than $500.00 selling hand crafted items donated for this purpose by friends and family and/or items they'd made themselves. All who participated by crafting the items sold or in the sales effort are pretty kind themselves!

Talk about courage: all this has been achieved in spite of an acute bout of graft versus host disease. Left untreated, this caused a significant rash as well as painful swelling and itching in both of Suzie's feet. Doctors were able to offset these symptoms through the aggressive use of Prednisone but these treatments led to the loss of body weight and muscle tone as well as a significant increase in her sugar levels. We're tapering off now and are prayerful that we won't have another bout with steroid induced diabetes.

We'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hanging Up My Sneaks ...

Well, at least in terms of endurance events like TNT and walk events like LTN.  In the 2+ years since I signed up for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco, I have raised over $8800 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  As rewarding as these experiences have been and as proud as I am of these efforts, I think its important to focus my efforts and energies a bit more so that I can make a greater impact.

A Cause for Hope will absolutely be continued - I so much enjoyed working with my mom on this project.  She also has been so focused on crafting beautiful items.  And with this winter coming and the swine flu abundant, I think this will help her deal with spending the majority of her time at home.  We recently posted a shop up on Etsy and she & I will continue to put items up as well as accept donated handmade items from family & friends.  All donations raised from ACFH go to the MPD Foundation.

I have also recently put the pieces in place to start selling my handmade jewelry.  I have launched the Park Lane Designs blog already and am finalizing the pieces for the Etsy shop I have set up.  My intent is to donate 1 piece of every 10 that I make to the ACFH project.  I hope to grow this into a sustaining business - who knows where it will go!

And given that my high school Cathy just donated her bone marrow yesterday as a result of the drive I coordinated in Ridgefield back in June, I plan to continue volunteering with the Be the Match organization to assist in local drives and spreading the word about the importance of Bone Marrow Donation. 

In a sense, I have felt like I have been running in a million different directions for the last 3+ years since my mom was diagnosed - its time to slow down a bit but still give back.  The fundraising efforts that surround the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are well established and is supported by nearly 1 million volunteers and raised $256 million in FY08.  The MPD Foundation raised $1.5 million for FY08 for research and grants and the Be the Match organization raised $11.4 million for their FY08.  As smaller organizations, volunteers are so critical. 

I also chose to remain with these two organizations since without Be the Match, Bruce - my mom's donor - would have never been located.  And without the MPD Foundation, the funds necessary to research treatments for myelofibrosis may not be raised.  And those treatments are our hope.

I'm not sure what that means for this blog or how often things will be posted since I maintain the ACFH site for that project and I likely won't put a note on here each time I volunteer at a drive since the majority will be local and those may be better advertised on Facebook or via email.  We'll have to see ... for the time being, I'll leave this site up and active.  Regardless of whether this blog stays active or not, one thing that will always be true is that I will forever be on my mom's team in a hope for a treatment or even a cure.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today is the Day ...

Someone from the Be the Match Bone Marrow Drive in Ridgefield is giving someone a second chance at life today!  How cool is that?!?