My little brother Paul motivates me to be an active member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
I am 25 years old, and before 2016 I had never heard of the LLSC and had never partaken in any of their events (let alone any other events related to cancer). It wasn't until my little brother, at 21 years old, was diagnosed with a stage 4, aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer.
Paul fought his disease for a year and a half. He was very brave despite his prognosis and underwent 6 types of treatments, chemotherapy, and a stem-cell transplant.
Unfortunately, I lost Paul to the disease just a year and a couple months ago. After he passed away, I wanted to get as involved as possible with something - in order to make some good come out of a hard situation for both myself and my family.
I joined the wonderful list of LLSC volunteers originally as a Team in Training participant. From there, my motivation comes from making a difference in the lives of people, who like my brother, need as much hope, support, and community as we can give.
I have since volunteered in a Light the Night event, where I and my uncle carried a lantern for Paul. I did a Team in Training run where I raised almost 4,000, and I also went to a training program on the First Connection Program where I will be able to offer my support to those who need it.
My most memorable experience with the organization was when I ran my 10K with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
I was encouraged by the event manager of LLSC to get involved in something immediately after my brother passed away. I had never run anything before, not even a 5K, so I was very nervous.
For this reason, I chose to run, as I knew that if I made a video about my efforts, I could raise money for the LLSC. I ended up raising almost 4,000$ for my run.
Furthermore, after two sprained ankles and a lot of tears throughout training, I completed my first 10K with flying colors. I was so proud of myself. Not only did I raise money to make a difference in someone else's life, but I was able to better myself, and felt so proud the strides I had made in the completion of my run.
This was most definitely my most memorable accomplishment with the organization.
To someone who is considering volunteering or donating to the LLSC - I would say that you would absolutely not regret it. The people that I have met along my journey with LLSC have touched me, offered me so much support, and are truly some of the most genuine and inspiring people I have ever met. I would strongly encourage anyone to join in as a volunteer, or even a donor, as I believe that the more people that are aware of the organization, the more of a difference they will be able to make in someone's life who may be struggling. When patients and their families are aware of the services that are available to them, it not only garners more donations for the society, but truly makes a difference in these cancer patients lives. Thank you LLSC!