Jim’s Story

This week’s post is a little bit different. Linda Hillenbrand, a very dear friend of mine,  has been nominated for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man and Woman of the Year Campaign. She has given me permission to reprint this letter.

Linda with her husband Jim at U of L game
To My Friends and Family,

I hope you don’t mind me writing you about a cause VERY close to my heart.
My dear husband Jim has had a rare form of Leukemia for several years and has undergone maintenance treatment to keep that at bay. In early 2010, he had what an allergist, neurologist and Internist thought was simply allergies or a lazy eye. Luckily, we had a scheduled 6 month check up with his wonderful oncologist, Dr. Mike Kommor, who took one look at his eye when he walked in the room and noticed something was very wrong. After an MRI, PET scan, CT scan and a very painful surgical biopsy of the eye, he was diagnosed with a form of MALT Lymphoma of the orbital tissue.
The next two years became a battle for life with a variety of treatments, second opinions at the request of our doctor with a Neurooncologist at Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center and a multitude of different treatments. Through it all, he was noted for his amazing smile. Finally in December of 2012 he was considered in a sort of remission. It is something he will always battle but the prognosis is good.
Jim was privileged to have great insurance and to respond positively to the series of chemo treatments that are only available today thanks to the research funding of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It was amazing to learn that LLS is the #2 source of funding, next to the government, for blood cancer research. Many of the drugs funded by LLS are being used today as a treatment for breast, lung, and other cancers.
Because of this, I am honored to be nominated as one of 14 candidates in Louisville for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man and Woman of the Year Campaign. Our team is being called “Blood, Sweat and CHEERS” Our national campaign kicks off on March 28th (my precious Mom’s birthday) and runs through June 7th. We also honor our dear friend Meghan Steinberg who we have come to know and love during her journey, as well as Janice Goodman and Ray Pfeiffer’s wonderful grandson. All fighters and survivors!!
Now comes the question…………………how can you help?? In many ways!!! We will be hosting several events during this time, putting collection jars in local businesses, partnering with restaurants for charity nights, and collecting auction items. You can donate your time, send an email, buy tickets to the gala, send a donation, or just tell a friend that is going through cancer about the Leukemia and Lymphoma society!!

Join our team “Blood Sweat and Cheers”

Mar 29, 2013
by Linda Hillenbrand
We are excited to begin our fight for a cure with “Blood, Sweat and Cheers” 

Originally posted to MWOY.org Reprinted by permission from the author. For more information on the Man and Woman of the Year Campaign, please visit their website. If you are on facebook, you can help by liking Linda’s Facebook group, Blood, Sweat & Cheers

Here’s an excerpt from her facebook page.

A very important point…Donations are wonderful and appreciated, but I know not everyone is in a position to help or has a cause of their own. You can help just by emailing anyone you know who has had Leukemia or Lymphoma or any other cancer that has been touched by the research of LLS and giving them the link or an invite to the group. Ideas, thoughts, stories, replies are as important as well!!!