Monday, May 18, 2015

Thank you

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society held it's annual Gala this past weekend for the Man & Woman of the Year. It was a wonderful event.

The past 10 weeks has been about raising money for research. I surpassed my goal of $50K by a lot (grand total will be coming in the next week or so).

I am honor to tell you about an amazing award that I was nominated for (not based on the dollar amount I raised) by my fundraising team - specifically my husband and mother-in-law. It was the Community Involvement Award. I have never received something like this before and it was one of the biggest honors of my life. Ptosha Davis, the mother of Jori (my first AML patient as a nurse practitioner), gave me the award and said the kindest and most moving things I have ever heard. The world lost a bright light the day Jori passed. Her, with all of my other patients and family - drive me to help find a cure. I have no doubt that one day we will get there.

I am very excited to tell you some more news. I LOST the Woman of the Year award. This is a WONDERFUL thing!! That means, someone raised more than me. So much money was raised by all of the candidates! Nearly $400K!!! Just think about the future patients that this will benefit. (It gives me goose bumps thinking about this).

What I am sad about is that I did not get to thank everyone in a public forum. So here it goes; my "thank you":

I need to first thank Dr Carlson and Dr Hari for nominating me. And above everything - curing my husband.

My family would not be intact if it wasn't for the care that the Medical College of Wisconsin provided. The cancer team at Froedtert cured my husband. And the cancer team at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin kept me sane and helped me hold my family and life together.

My team manager, Amber Essenmacher, for all the help given during the past 10 weeks. I am so blessed to have met her and call her a dear friend.

And of course all my team members that helped me raise money: Kevin Brickler, Alli Grady, Kristen Tews, Meghan Belongia, Becky Rusch, Susie Burke, Diane Brickler, Tonya Ureda, Brooke Brickler, Chris Schulta, Phyllis Sommer and Joanna O'Brien. And of course; every single person that donated.

Finally; the night can't go without discussion of those who have passed. This night is dedicated to Jori, Austin, Superman Sam, Amy and the countless number of others who have died from blood cancer.

The LLS funds over 300 active research projects. All with the goal of pushing the cure further.

Donations throughout this 10 week campaign will fund scientists to research, develop target therapy, test immunotherapies and improve the safety of today's cure.

Cure is NOT free. It comes with a high price tag (both literally and figuratively). Cancer steals your sense of security and sometime hope. And when a loved one, friend, coworker or acquaintance dies - a little more of that security and hope disappears.

Tonight we are all here to give that sense of security and hope back to future patients. A cure is NOT free. The only way to advance the cure is through research and clinical trials. This past 10 weeks we have raised $400K that will help fund research and give future patients that security and hope they deserve; and ultimately - a cure.

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