Boy Of The Year

I’m writing to invite Jack to become an official Honoree for one of our campaigns: the Man & Woman of the Year. Man & Woman of the Year campaign is a national ten-week campaign where individuals compete to raise funds to help find cures for blood cancers. Candidates run in honor of the Boy & Girl of the Year, who are local blood cancer patients and survivors and sources of inspirations to others. The Boy and Girl represent thousands of patients who have been helped by LLS’s patient services and research, they are recognized at all events, in campaign marketing materials and on the LLS website.

I received the above from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at the end of January. I wanted to speak with Jack before agreeing to anything, as I knew it could go either way – on one hand, he loves to be helpful and I knew he would get a kick out of being “Boy of the Year.” On the other hand, he doesn’t much like talking about his experience with cancer and sometimes avoids being the center of attention. When I sat down to talk with him about it, however, I didn’t even finish the explanation before he exclaimed, “I’ll do it!” He was thrilled to be given this opportunity and said he would attend events, give interviews, anything they wanted him to do!

So, we agreed to participate in the program and Jack officially became the 2015 Boy of the Year for the Northern California Greater Bay Area chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Photos by Colson Griffith Photography - www.colsongriffith.com

Jack and the Girl of the Year (Celia) get along wonderfully! Seeing them together at the events, it’s clear that the LLS chose the right kids as honorees. They are both so full of life and sweet as can be. They absolutely hold their own at the events we’ve attended, and they stick together like they’ve known each other all their lives. The bond was immediate.

"Photos by Colson Griffith Photography - www.colsongriffith.com"

At the kickoff event we attended, I spoke briefly about our experience when Jack was diagnosed while Jack stood next to me and imitated everything I said. The crowd LOVED him.

"Photos by Colson Griffith Photography - www.colsongriffith.com"

I also mentioned the fact that when we found out Jack had cancer, the oncologist told us that ALL was “the best kind of cancer” to have. What she meant was that ALL is highly curable in children, but at the time this led me to think that maybe Jack would receive 6 months of treatment and then we could go on with our lives. That was so not the case (as you know) and so it was a second blow when I learned it would be more than 3 years of treatment. I emphasized this in my brief speech and I am emphasizing it again – this is why we need organizations like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and all of the research and fundraising! Three years of treatment is too long for anyone, but especially for children.

Maybe with the help of LLS, we can get to  a 6-month treatment for these kids – if we can’t wipe out this horrendous disease altogether!

"Photos by Colson Griffith Photography - www.colsongriffith.com"

“We need YOUR help!”

This is why this campaign – very hopefully named Mission Possible – is important and why we are very happy to be part of it and promote the cause to wipe out blood cancers. We hope you’ll support the cause, as well, by donating to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, attending an event put on by Man & Woman of the Year candidates, and/or by purchasing tickets to attend the Grand Finale event at The Fairmont in San Francisco on June 6 (we’ll be there!). By supporting LLS’s efforts, you are supporting families like ours – and like yours.

"Photos by Colson Griffith Photography - www.colsongriffith.com"

Note: photo credit to Colson Giffith Photography.

Moms In Training

Running is all the rage right now. I see you all with your FitBit and RunKeeper status updates and I envy your motivation! I was a certified couch potato long before becoming a parent, and now it’s that much worse. Who has time to exercise between laundry and meals and playdates – not to mention the scads of doctor appointments now that Jack is in treatment for cancer?! Sometimes I can hardly get myself motivated to walk the block from work to Starbucks!

But there is something that has motivated me to get out and walk: a good cause! Especially for others in Jack’s situation – those dealing with life-threatening illnesses like cancer. This is why, for the second year in a row, I’m participating in the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s Walk For Wishes. Getting out of the house and walking with others who have a similar goal in mind is an amazing feeling. I can’t recommend it enough!

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Me, prepped for a fundraising 5k!

Another wonderful organization – The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – recently sent me information on a new program they are launching. This program is tailored to moms like me – moms who want to do some good in the world while meeting other moms and doing something healthy…moms who might not be in shape but would love to participate in a 5k for a GREAT cause. Moms In Training is a flexible nine-week program that gets moms together on Saturday mornings to prepare to walk or run a 5K. And for a little extra motivation, participants can dedicate their walk to someone special, as my friend Beth did for Jack two years ago, in order to raise money for blood cancer research.

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Jack wearing his Team in Training shirt.

Moms in Training is all over the San Francisco Bay Area, with Saturday morning workouts in San Francisco, the East Bay, the North Bay, the Peninsula, the South Bay, and even down in Santa Cruz. The final event – the 5K – will take place June 22nd in Alameda, CA. Those who want to participate pay a $50 registration fee and commit to raising just $500 in exchange for amazing support and coaching from the LLS.

mom-and-kids

(c) LLS

If you aren’t located in the Bay Area, don’t fret – the New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, and Washington DC chapters also offer the Moms in Training program!

To participate in this program, sign up by April 12th! And if you sign up, please let me know so I can help spread the word about your efforts to raise money for blood cancers while doing something healthy for yourself!

Jack will once again be an honoree, but this time for a Moms In Training team here in the Bay Area. WOO HOO! Check back for a link to their fundraising page soon!

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post and I have received no compensation from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or anyone else for writing about their Moms In Training program. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.