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75 Posts authored by: whitleyt

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. 

Tuesday, April 4th Update:

While we're sorry that Jack was eliminated last night on DWTS - we're very proud of his effort and his continued support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where he's been a hero to many. Here's to Jack!


It was an emotional night on Dancing With The Stars with Jack sharing  the story of reuniting with his daughter.


Here's a clip of his performance last night.  Remember call in number is 1-800-868-3402 to vote for Jack ---  or vote online at ABC.com or AT&T costumers can text VOTE to 3402.  Voting continues for one hour after show except on line which ends at 11AM Est, next morning.




Vote Jack!


Jack.jpgWe've all known Jack Wagner to be accomplished at many things -- a beloved actor, musician, celebrity golfer and a long time supporter of LLS. However, tonight he'll be launching yet another career with his appearance on this season's Dancing With The Stars!


We'd like to extend our best wishes to Jack and encourage our friends to vote for Jack each week.  Your vote for Jack is a vote for blood cancer awareness as Jack is an LLS National Ambassador and the creator of the Jack Wagner Celebrity Golf Classic that benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


Dancing With The Stars is shown on ABC at 8PM EST/7PM CST. You can vote to keep Jack on the show by calling 1-800-868-3402, visiting www.abc.com online or by texting 3402 to VOTE (if you're an AT&T customer).


We'll be updating this blog and Tweeting about Jack's DWTS experience at @llsusa.


Good luck, Jack!

The Passing of Gary Carter

Posted by whitleyt Feb 17, 2012

200px-Gary_Carter_OC.JPGThe passing of baseball star Gary Carter has brought back memories of his incredible support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  In February 1985, two months after Gary was traded from the Montreal Expos to the New York Mets, he reached out to offer his support of our organization as a tribute to his 37-yhear-old mother’s passing from leukemia  in 1966 when was 12.  Gary served as our National Sports Chairman for 15 years, and raised over $8 million (in honor of his wearing number 8 on his uniform) in support of our organization through a year-round calendar of fundraisers, including an annual celebrity golf tournament for our Palm Beach Area Chapter, promotions around the companies that involved him in their advertising campaigns, an annual fashion show that Gary’s wife Sandy organized with the New York Mets wives, and making his autographed baseball card available to fans for a $25 donation to LLS.    He also inspired other athletes throughout the country to join the LLS team and raise funds and awareness for our mission.    In deepest appreciation for Gary’s support, he was presented with LLS’s   Dr. William Damashek Award in 1988.  This award honors the late William Dameshek, M.D., who founded the American Society of Hematology and was the first editor of the leading medical journal Blood. The award recognizes a public figure who has used his or her celebrity to aid LLS by helping to focus national attention on blood cancers.


As Gary moved on to play for other teams, he made time every stop along the way to meet with patients and their families before and after games.  The Mets organization continues their involvement with LLS with their annual Welcome Home Dinner benefiting LLS and other organizations.   Other athletes such as ESPN sailing commentator and America’s Cup winner Gary Jobson, a survivor of lymphoma and national chair of our Leukemia Cup Regatta series, continue to champion the LLS cause.   


Anyone who had the opportunity to meet Gary was uplifted by his positive outlook and his commitment to helping LLS accelerate cures.  We send our condolences to his families and friends, and will continue to increase our efforts to stop leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives.

Vote for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Palm Beach Chapter in FTI's charity challenge (see: www.ftigreatcharitychallenge.com  or click on the flyer below) and vote for supporting life-saving cancer research!





Thanks to our partnership, the apparel and gear retailer, Lands' End, your Valentine's Day gifts can help fund life-saving cancer research.


When you shop at LLS's e-Store, 20% of your purchase price will be donated to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) helping patients like Haidyn. Shirts, pants, jackets, sweaters and more!You can even customize your purchases with the LLS logo or your favorite LLS campaign logo.

Lands' End and LLS; Spread the love this Feb.14th!





Haidyn Louden

Haidyn Louden was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2008. Her treatment included intense chemotherapy, bone marrow checks, and blood transfusions. Thanks to Haidyn's fighting spirit, and treatments developed with LLS support, she has been cancer free for three years.

Mike Bitecofer.jpgWhen you set up an account on GiveBackMail, the emails you send benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


GiveBackMail Testimonial:

In 2009 I was diagnosed with Asymptomatic Myeloma, in 2010 I joined LLS Team in Training to help raise money for cancer research by running the Half/Marathon in Cleveland.  As someone who both has a blood cancer and knows many people who are battling blood cancers, I am deeply appreciative of this creative and simple way of raising money to fight blood cancers.

Mike Bitecofer
Running the Cleveland Full/Marathon to save lives 2012



GiveBackMail is a free email service that  allows you to manage all of your email addresses under one account, helping you organize your email communications. But the best thing about GiveBackMail is that itgenerates a donation back to LLS with every GiveBackMail email that you send.


Streamline your email communications and help support LLS by signing up for GiveBackMail today!


As you struggle to find the perfect gift for that person who seems to have everything..consider one of these books, all of which donate a percentage of the proceeds from their sale to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:


  • No Rest for the Dead, More than twenty New York Times bestselling authors team up to create a first-rate serial novel -- a collaboration that combines the skills of America’s greatest storytellers to produce a gripping, spellbinding mystery.
  • The Year My Dad Went Bald, by Brian Kraft is the story of one little boy’s experience with his father’s diagnosis and treatment for cancer and how his family pulled together to help his dad get better.  Wonderfully illustrated and great for kids of all ages, this book won an award in the “Best First Book” category of the 2011 Moonbeam Childrens Book Awards.
  • Love or at Least Lust and Friendship, by Tom Fuelner is better suited for adults and tells the story of Amy, who lived her whole life in seventeen years, Tom her pragmatic poet boyfriend, and the progressive, malignant disease that both brought them together and took them apart.
  • Racing to Pittsburgh is by Dr. Donald Hricik, a transplant nephrologist at an academic medical center in Ohio. Racing to Pittsburgh is a work of fiction based on the true story of Dan’s son Michael, a survivor of acute leukemia.
  • Find a Way From an early age, NFL football great Merril Hoge used the words “Find A Way” to take action to overcome any obstacle and to attain any goal. Here’s a story written to inspire you.
  • The Daily Zoo - Keeping the Doctor at Bay with a Drawing a Day, by Chris Ayers. Started as a sketch book, as Chris was under treatment for leukemia, The Daily Zoo has grown into a series of beautifully illustrated books that inspire.


Happy reading!

Survivor with a Heart of Gold

Posted by whitleyt Nov 28, 2011

Jessica Melore has been through more in her 30 years than most endure in a lifetime. jessica.gif

At age 16, she was a seemingly healthy, happy high school student and even the co-captain of her high school tennis team. But one night during dinner with her family she collapsed from a massive heart attack. Close to death, her lungs filling with fluid, she developed a severe infection that forced doctors to amputate her leg. But she did live.

She survived for the next nine months on an experimental heart pump until she got the call she had been waiting for: a new heart, received from an 18-year-old girl who had died in a car accident.

Jessica never let any of these impediments hold her back. She continued to attend school, go on class trips and even attended her senior prom, all while living on the artificial heart pump.

But this was not the end of her challenges. It is believed that complications from her medications led to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She battled and overcame the disease not once, but twice.

Now Jessica sits on the board of the New Jersey Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to spread the word and help the many thousands who are still fighting. As an international motivational speaker, she shares her story to help others overcome adversity. She has spoken at several LLS blood cancer conferences around the country to bring a message of hope and inspiration to patients, caregivers, and professionals in the field. 

To celebrate her 30th birthday coming up on January 4, 2012, Jessica is asking friends and family to donate to LLS in lieu of gifts. Donations can be made online by visiting her web page


You can also visit her twitter and Facebook pages: www.twitter.com/jessicamelore and www.facebook.com/jessicamelorespeaker.


The Light The Night Walk Balloon Icon Program

supports the work of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


With Black Friday shopping just days away, we want to encourage you to stop by your local Burlington Coat Factory. You'll find the perfect gift for the best price at Burlington Coat Factory. And when you check out, buy a balloon icon in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. When you purchase a balloon you're helping our blood cancer patients and children like Anthony (pictured below, right), the 2011 Light The Night Walk honored patient for the Westchester chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, by supporting our life-saving research and patient services.



This Thanksgiving, you can pay it forward by shopping at Burlington Coat Factory and participating in the Light The Night Walk Balloon Icon program.

Shop, donate and contribute to many Happy Thanksgivings for our patients and families to come.


Burlington Coat Factory is running The Light The Night Walk Balloon Icon program through this Sunday, November 27th.


More About Anthony


Anthony Puoti started kindergarten in September 2009 as a happy, energetic boy. As the weeks continued, however, he began to show signs of increasing fatigue and low energy. He started playing soccer and after two weeks, became short of breath during the practices and couldn’t finish playing the games. By the end of October, he was bruising frequently and acting quiet and tired most of the time. His mother, Michelle, made an appointment for him to see the doctor, but the school nurse sent him home early that day because he had a fever. Michelle immediately took him to the emergency room at Westchester Medical Center and the doctors discovered he had an enlarged spleen. Anthony was sent to the main hospital for further testing and was then diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL).


For at the remainder of his Kindergarten year, Anthony was home-schooled by his Pre-K teacher during his chemotherapy treatments to protect him from contracting any illnesses or infections. Now Anthony is now in the maintenance phase of his treatment, where he is on a monthly protocol for his chemotherapy. He has been able to attend first grade this year as a full-time student at Casimir Pulaski Elementary School in Yonkers. Anthony is resuming full activity again and loves playing with his siblings: Salvatore (9 years old); Alexa (8 years old); and Nicholas (4 years old). He is looking forward to playing baseball this spring and also loves drawing and playing video games


LTN RGB72.jpg


Kaleidoscope is a holiday celebration on FOX that combines the beauty of skating, the excitement of song and the brave message of survivorship to raise awareness of the key issues surrounding cancer. 


Join hosts and skating icons Dorothy Hamil and Scott Hamilton for the third annual Kaleidoscope television event, this Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24th at 4pm EST on FOX (directly following the football game).


Now in its third year, the show will feature an unprecedented line up of Olympic and World champion figure skaters and Grammy Award winning musical talent including Olympic silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan, 4-time world champion Kurt Browning, 3-time U.S. national champion Johnny Weir, Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen, Olympic silver medalist Paul Wylie, Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette, 3-time world champion Elvis Stojko, and 7-time British national champions Sinead and John Kerr. There will also be special musical performances by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Grammy Award winner Patti LaBelle, rising country musician Hunter Hayes, and Billboard's 2011 Artists to Watch Andy Grammer.


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the world's largest nonprofit) health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services, is featured among the cancer organizations listed in the Survivorship Support Network.


For more Kaleidoscope, including bios on the perfomers, see: www.kaleidoscope.org.



The holidays will soon be upon us! The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has a great strategy for you to avoid the crowds and make your gifts to loved ones, friends and colleagues even more special.


Thanks to our new partnership with renowned apparel and gear retailer Land's End, your gifts will help fund lifesaving cancer research and provide information and support to cancer patients.  When you shop at LLS's e-Store, 20% of your purchase price will be donated to LLS. And you can customize your purchases with the LLS logo or your favorite LLS campaign logo.


During this time of giving, LLS's e-Store provides a great way for you to also benefit your favorite charity. 


On behalf of blood cancer patients and their families, thank you and happy shopping! Shop now!



Dear Fellow Light The Night Walker,


I recently participated in The Light The Night Walk in Los Angeles and was so inspired by the incredible outpouring of support. Patients, survivors, friends, family and corporate teams all demonstrated their commitment to raising funds to cure cancer. It was a moving sight; a march of glimmering balloons at dusk literally lighting the night.


When you participate in Light The Night you are making a difference in so many lives. Your support will help fund research that leads to new important therapies - targeted therapies like Rituxin®, Gleevec® and Velcade®.


Rituxin was just in the news again when the U.S. FDA approved it as maintenance for patients with advanced follicular lymphoma. Since targeted drugs cause so many fewer serious side effects, researchers realized that Rituxin might be used safely to maintain remission. It's a truly great story that inspires us to continue to do more.


It has been my honor to participate in The Light The Night Walk this year. I thank you for joining me in raising funds for blood cancer research. Please continue fundraising until the end of the year so more patients will have better outcomes. Together we can beat cancer.




Michael C. Hall

Dear Friend,

Research works! The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has been proving just that by leading the way in the development of new treatments and cutting-edge cancer therapies for the last 60 years.

Please take 2 minutes to watch this video.
It summarizes the tremendous impact LLS has had on so many significant cancer discoveries.




Earlier this month I had the pleasure once again of attending the New York City Light The Night Walk. I was honored and inspired to be one of the 250,000 people in communities across North America raising money and paying tribute to those battling cancer. 

My wife Jen is a lymphoma survivor, and we are so very grateful to those who raised money before us and helped make Jen’s life-saving drugs a reality.

Please continue fundraising because we’re on the verge of great things and the cancer patients of today, and tomorrow, need you.

Robert Carlock
30 Rock, Executive Producer

That's our plan!
And as you can see by this image - we're making amazing progress!

Our Light The Night Walk Balloon Icon Program is offered at Burlington Coat Factory stores all across the country.  Over the past 10 years, Burlington Coat Factory, the #1 National Corporate Partner for Light the Night, has raised more than $10 Million to support our vision of a world free of blood cancers. This year alone - Burlington Coat Factory has already collected more than $1.5 million dollars! But we still need your help. Please continue to donate to the cause at any Burlington Coat Factory location now through November 25th.


We appreciate all the support!

You can help us paper Burlington Coat Factory in balloons by stopping by your nearest store where you can update your Fall wardrobe and purchase a balloon at checkout. When you do you can personalize your balloon by writing the name of a loved on your balloon before it's posted.






  • For more information on how you business can support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, email partner@lls.org .

Guest Blog Post by Top Leukemia Cup Regatta Fundraiser


Last year Lisa Thorndike was awarded the President's Citation by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for her distinguished service as a volunteer and her exceptional abilities as a fundraiser. In the sixteen  years since she began, Lisa has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars to help beat cancer - an amazing feat by any standard!  What's more, she's done it solely through her work with The Leukemia Cup Regatta, a series of sailing events that combines boating with fundraising to cure cancer.


Here's Lisa's story:


Lisa_1996.jpgDiscovering The Leukemia Cup Regatta


As a long time visitor to Cape May, NJ  I read about the Leukemia Cup Regatta at the Corinthian Yacht Club CM in the local newspaper.   Although I'd supported Cape May Stage for 30 years I'd never seen the yacht club.  It was curiosity that took me there even though I'd been diagnosed with a solitary plasma cytoma two years earlier.  It was a last minute decision to go to the regatta.  They needed a photographer and asked if I could take pictures. I didn't know who was a yacht club member, who was with the Leukemia Society (their name at that time) or who was off the street but the camera was a great ice breaker.  This first year I brought in $1,000 and I was hooked on the regattas.  Stayed with the CYCCM for 9 years.


The Secret to her fundraising success


I was  lucky getting some big corporate sponsors in the earlier years.  I also got into a routine, made my own stationery, address labels, postcards and developed my mailing list.   It continues to grow.  After seeking large donations, I then focus on ads for the program book.  Then I write, and

personalize, letters to those on my mailing list.  I put money boxes in town, and finally I go door-to-door up my street.  My neighbors expect to see me and their contributions have been good.  I know which houses not to bother and which ones will support the LLS.  All this has streamlined my efforts and I keep an accurate follow-up list.  Thank-you letters are sent out after the regatta letting them know how much we raised.  Many of these contributors also get a Holiday card in December.


Why it's important to fund cancer research


I enjoy raising money for research and reading success stories of how LLS grants have resulted in some major new drugs ... Velcade (one of the drugs I'm taking now) and Gleevec.  I hope to see more new drugs and therapies from grants that are now ongoing.   I'm in my 18th year of multiple myeloma and I don't want to run out of options.


If someone raises over $8,500 for a Leukemia Cup Regatta he/she is recognized with a "Fantasy Sail" at a different yacht club each year.  The first year I was recognized as a Fantasy Sail participant I wasn't sure I wanted to go.  I wasn't a yacht club member - AND I WASN'T  A SAILOR!  However, I love sailing!  I was talked into going and I had a blast!  I was not only hooked on raising money for research but I was now hooked on the Regattas and the "Fantasy Sails."  After 16 Leukemia Cups and 13 Fantasy Sails I've made good friends with other fundraising sailors from across the country and have been invited to some of their regattas.  It's become an annual reunion of top fundraising sailors, people who's lives have been affected by a blood cancer.   Last year I was invited to the Savannah

Leukemia Cup and it was fantastic!  I really  think it's the Fantasy Sails that keeps me going.LisaGaryDennis.jpg


Sailing with an America's Cup legend


Gary Jobson's my  hero! (That's me with Gary in the above photo, circa 1996 - and to the right in more recent years with Dennis Conner). Years ago there weren't as many Leukemia Cups and Fantasy Sailors as there are now and after a Fantasy Sail in Annapolis Gary hosted a BBQ at his beautiful home, so generous of him.  A few years later he'd been diagnosed with lymphoma and I'll never forget him showing up in a wheelchair at a Fantasy Sail in Los Angeles right after his stem cell transplant - he's definitely a cancer hero!  He's an inspiration to everyone - sailors and patients.  He's a great speaker and every year he shows a new sailing video.  He attends as many Leukemia Cup Regattas as he  can each year as well as the Fantasy Sails.  Having Gary on 'your boat' is really good.


What's next for Lisa?


After three Junior Regattas, I moved further up the Jersey Shore (no, Snookie wasn't there) and I've now supported Keyport Yacht Club's Leukemia Cup for four years.  Keyport's a small but very, very nice yacht club.  Our fundraising can't compete with the big yacht clubs but the enthusiasm for blood cancer research and their enjoyment of sailing can't be beat!   And where else in the country can you sail around the Statue of Liberty?  Our event was in June, but I'm already thinking about 2012.  If anyone wants to sail in, or support, Keyport's Leukemia Cup please let me know.   I've been on chemo for seven months (Revlimid/Velcade/Dexamethasone) and another cycle is planned.  Research and Regattas are definitely special to me!


We're honored to be associated with Lisa and proud of her accomplishments. She inspires as both a survivor and a fundraiser. Thank you, Lisa, for all that you've done and all that you continue to do for LLS!


To participate in  The Leukemia Cup Regatta, visit www.leukemiacup.org to find the sailing event nearest you.

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