Support Lo Tide Run For Cancer

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 01 October 2014 04:00

Dear Editor,
Cancer. Not a word anyone ever wants to hear. You will not even remember the next few words from the oncologist. But you will live with the word cancer forever. At first, it is ever present. As time goes on it may recede, but it never disappears.
Over eight years ago I was diagnosed with MDS (myelodysplasia syndrome) and began a period of blood tests and bone marrow incursions. The results were never encouraging. Inexorably the tests showed a steady decline in the healthy blood lines, and an increase in the sick cells. I knew this even before the results were read to me. Early in 2014 I was advised by a clinician in Boston that I needed to start an immediate program of chemotherapy. Over a period of seven weeks I did as advised. The next bone marrow test showed a doubling of the sick cells. The chemo had had no effect. Full blown cancer, known as ACL (acute myelogenous lymphoma) had entered my life. You may recognize it better by its common name-leukemia.
I could do nothing and maybe survive six months, or I could begin the process of preparation for a transplant. Fortunately I have a brother who was a perfect match. No guarantee of success, considering I was over 70, but a good step in the right direction. After five months in and out of the hospital, daily injections on an outpatient basis for ten days, weekly blood draws and consultations with specialists, I was allowed to return to Carolina Beach. I must go to Boston once a month for at least a year, and then a different schedule for the next five years. At this point there is still no guarantee of success, but it beats the alternative.
The purpose of this letter, however, is not about me and my problems. The above is written solely to provide a frame of reference for what many cancer patients deal with. This is about money.
I have good insurance above and beyond Medicare. But the cost of living in Boston for over five months, the trips back and forth, the deductibles for hospital and drug bills are beyond belief.
My family and friends donated to help me. Foremost on the island was the LoTide Run. Thanks to their generosity we were better able to handle the situation, and so were many others they have helped in the past.
Please support them with your donations, however large or small. Enter a team for the annual Run. If you can't run or walk perhaps you can volunteer to help with the logistics. However you decide they will welcome you, and you can contact them at or PO Box1116, Carolina Beach NC 28428. Finally, if you would like to know more about stem cell transplant Google Be the Match. You can literally give someone the gift of life.
I prefer to keep this letter anonymous, but our heartfelt thanks for the support, encouragement, and prayers of so many.
Carolina Beach, NC


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