Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cancer Warrior

Who’s my hero?  This amazing young lady named Jamie who is heading down to Utah to receive a treatment (DLI – Donor Leukocyte Infusion) for her leukemia.  The leukemia that was gone and was supposed to stay gone.  But then she decided to have a baby and so it came back.  Now she has to live for her son, Jayden.  He is a beautiful little boy.  19 months old.  And Jamie is an amazing mother.  And, really, she’d like to stay that way. 

If you met Jamie on the street, you would never know that she is dealing with a deadly cancer.  She never stops smiling.  Never stops laughing.  And people at work are donating money and PL time so that her cancer treatment won’t be such a burden on her family.  Lots of people at work didn’t even know she had cancer. 

Jamie is my inspiration for raising money for blood cancer research.  I want her to be able to raise Jayden and to see her grandkids some day.  I want that to be a reality for her and everyone else like her.  I want every person diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma or any other type of blood cancer (or really any type of cancer, period) to be able to know with a surety that their cancer has a cure and that they have a future.  That is my wish for Jamie.

My Team in Training team had a potluck this morning and we invited Jamie.  Our manager, Dan, (a lymphoma survivor) put Jamie on the spot and asked her to speak.  There was not one dry eye in the room when she was done talking.  Members of the team recommitted to work harder after hearing her story. Like I said, she’s amazing!

However, there is one thing that stood out to me the most.  Jamie said (and I am paraphrasing), “The drug that saved my life, Gleevec, was discovered using funds partially raised from the Boise chapter of Team in Training.  In essence, you guys helped bring a life into this world” (she pointed at her son Jayden) “and you saved a life from being taken out of it.”

She was only 16 when she was diagnosed and may have died without the Gleevec.  This month Jamie turns 26. My goal is to help Jamie get her cure so she can live 10 more years, then 10 more, and 10 more after that, and on and on.

Jamie’s treatment is next week and she has asked for everyone’s prayers and positive thoughts to go with her so that her bright spirit and enthusiasm for life may continue to infect all those that she comes in contact with.

And if you have an extra $5 lying around, would you consider donating to the cause so that Jamie may get her cure?  (If you have more than that, well, that would be awesome too!)

Oh, and Jamie says thank you!

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