My fight with cancer started in June of 1994 and I am blessed to say I BEAT cancer. In 2014 I ran for the local Man and Woman of the Year campaign and with that my #cancerstopswithme campaign was started.
After my 2014 campaign, I joined the Board of Trustees for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The fight has continued ever since, but the fight isn’t over and unfortunately, reality is cancer is far too prevalent and the treatments are too harsh. The side effects are often even more detrimental than the cancer itself. Ask any parent or child who has been though it.
If I could, I would go through it again, if it meant that one less child had to. But I can’t do that so my mission is to find a cure for cancer. More importantly, to find better cures and better treatments for children battling cancer. PLEASE JOIN ME IN THE FIGHT!
LLS MWOY National ALL STAR Campaign
The National MWOY All Star Campaign is a national fundraising competition among a select group of MWOY alumni across the US. The male and female candidates who raise the most money during their 10-week campaign are named the National Man & Woman of the Year All Stars!
I ran for the local MWOY campaign in 2014. Together, we raised over $65,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). But, being nnominated to run for the National Man & Woman of the Year All Star Campaign raises the bar to the national level where I will compete against people from chapters like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
I am honored to have accepted my nomination to run for the All Star campaign because, as we all know, the FIGHT isn’t over!
My Story & My Mission
I still remember the day I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) in June of 1994. I had just finished 4th grade and was really excited about heading into the 5th grade with all my friends. One thing that bothered me though is that I had noticed a throbbing pain in my left wrist and was really concerned that I had a broken wrist – which would RUIN my summer! A number of ER doctors told my family and me that it was growing pains, but my mother and I knew it was something more. At that time, my father was building a new home for a bone specialist in Minnetonka Beach. His name was Dr. Barte. After learning of my wrist pains, Dr. Barte offered to see me. My father and I went to his office and he did more x-rays to see if the ER doctors had missed a small fracture in my wrist. He saw nothing but remembered a procedure he did as a resident. We moved from Dr. Barte’s office to the ER downstairs and he drew fluid from my wrist. The tube was literally the size of the jumbo candy canes you get in your stocking at Christmas. I watched in amazement as the syringe filled with a dark yellow fluid. I later learned that yellow meant I had an infection, not a broken bone. Whew, glad we dodged the broken arm bullet! Looking back, however, a broken arm would have been a walk in the park compared to what happened next.
The next day, I was at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis for a Bone Marrow biopsy that confirmed that I had leukemia. I remember exactly what Dr. Ciche said. “I have good news and I have bad news. Which on do you want first?” “The good news,” I shouted. “The good news is; it’s 1994. The Bad news is; you have Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.” Completely unaware of what leukemia was, I excitedly told Dr. Ciche I was leaving for horse camp next week. He solemnly responded, “I’m sorry Lyndsey but no, you’re not.” Dr. Ciche was right, instead of going to horse camp, I started chemotherapy the very next day and my new home became the 8th floor of Children’s. Although I was considered a “rapid responder” because I was 97% cancer free after only two weeks, I still went through three years of chemotherapy and radiation as a protocol. I lost my hair, became seriously ill and weak from treatment and wore “Forest Gump” braces on my legs because of my weak ankles. I am happy to say that I beat battle and has been in remission for over 20 years!
Twenty-five years later, I look back at those years and realize that it has made me who I am today and has truly changed who I am, who I want to be and how I look at the world.
I’ve made it my mission to find a cure for blood cancers so that kids can not only survive cancer but THRIVE after treatment!
For questions about my story or my campaign you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 612-237-1592.