The Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans is the second-oldest yacht club in the United States and has hosted a Leukemia Cup Regatta since 1995. The New Orleans area sailing community banded together in 2011 to raise over $220,000 to support our organization’s efforts to accelerate cures for blood cancers.
A few weeks ago, the Southern Yacht Club kicked off its 2012 Leukemia Cup fundraising efforts with a capacity crowd of attendees and rallying remarks by their local volunteers and Leukemia Cup national chairman Gary Jobson, but the “star” of the night was Harrison Bond, a 14-year old ninth grader from New Orleans and one of the honored patients for this year’s New Orleans Leukemia Cup. An excerpt from Harrison’s remarks:
“Little did I know, on March 24, 2011 when I was taking a high school math quiz, I would be diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Less than 36 hours later, I underwent my first chemotherapy treatment. Although difficult, thankfully, my chemo and radiation treatments lasted only five months. Now, I am back at school with my friends and playing on the ninth grade basketball team.”
“On that day I also did not know, for the last 16 years, local sailors have been using their skills and competitive drive to race and raise money for vital blood cancer research. Over the same time period, the cure rate for my diagnosis improved from 40% to about 85-90%. On behalf of all cancer patients, victims, and survivors, THANK YOU to all the sailors and the sailing community. Without your current and past efforts, I may have faced a much more difficult and uncertain medical journey.”
You can view Harrison’s complete remarks online. His story and will to live, along with those of patients everywhere, are inspirations for the thousands of sailors throughout North America who are helping to accelerate cancer cures.