Saturday, April 15, 2006

Paying Forward

If no one had made the effort to donate, run, walk, fundraise or care about cancer research - Steven's life expectancy would be a short few years. But people we don't even know raised money that helped make it possible for the much needed research and development with this disease. It's only because of these people that Steven has this chance to live a full and normal life.

Up until very recently, I felt extremely helpless in the fight against cancer. In between all the things I learned about CML, I learned that there are amazing people with amazing stories and amazing courage. I found people who care enough to give time and effort to people they don't know, people who comfort, cry with and laugh with others that are feeling so lost and scared. I have met so many wonderful people who are already making this journey a very exciting one for me, despite the obvious worry and concern we all carry. I learned how to feel power-full, not power-less!

We found a way to Pay Forward. We will fundraise for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with the hope that one day there will be more cures than there are now; with the hope that some family that is in desperate need, will be helped. This is one way we can stop that awful feeling of helplessness. I already find myself sleeping better, calmer and more able to deal with this illness in Steven.

We never planned on having to deal with cancer in the family. We never dreamed, or "nightmared" (So? I am allowed to make new words!) that it would happen to any one of us. But it did. One out of three people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetimes. I look around and wonder which three they were referring to. My three kids? Are the other two now "safe", or was it Steven, Frank and I, or my sisters or mom............ get the idea? We don't know who will be next and we don't know what help we will need.

This 'paying forward' idea (and thanks Debbie for that perfect description) gives us power, gives us hope that one day dealing with cancer will be a whole lot easier and manageable and that the fear won't be as awful or real. It gives us hope that even more research will lead to better treatments and even cures. It gives us the power to truely fight cancer. Remember I mentioned the powerless feeling us sitting on the "outside" of cancer have? Paying forward literally gives us the power to help others live!

Everyone that has ever donated for the research and development of cancer cures have a direct hand in Steven living and his future - what power! We don't know how else to thank or honor them all, except to follow their amazing example as best we can.

We are driving the motorhome back up to Alaska later this year, and will be using this trip to raise even more funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We are hoping to get "pledges per mile" and even more donations. If you are willing to help with this, please email me.

Please help us help everyone who is fighting cancer and who will be fighting cancer in the future. This is not a drive to raise funds for Steven. All donations go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The links on the left of this page will allow you to donate, to sign up to walk with the Light The Night mission on September 21st and to help fundraise for this very worthy cause through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. There is also a link if you would like to email me.

If you are not comfortable donating online but would like to help, please send your donation, made out to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to us at:

8794 Dayton Pike
Soddy Daisy
Tennessee, 37379

Thank you in advance..................
Annie and Frank


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