When I married Jason on August 7, 2010, the same day as his 29th birthday, we didn’t feel that marriage would change our relationship dramatically. After five years of dating, we were true partners-in-crime who had traveled the world together, raised two small dogs as though they were our children, and enjoyed daily debriefing sessions involving beers and work dramas we called “Power Hours.” Classifying us as genuine best friends would be an understatement. However, when Jason was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on April 2, 2011, our world and our relationship was flipped upside-down. Everything changed — and I don’t just mean the obvious cancer hurdle. Striving to feel like a normal newlywed couple was, and still is, the most difficult challenge. Keep reading »
When 5-year-old Aidan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia this past September he didn’t freak out. Instead, he found solace in one of his favorite activities: drawing monsters. And now those monster pictures are being put to good use; they’re for sale on a special Etsy shop. And money from the sale of his monsters will go to help fund his treatment. The funds are especially necessary since Aidan regularly endures painful rounds of chemotherapy and antibiotics to fight the disease, and hospital costs are unbelievably expensive. Aidan’s plight has inspired others to get in on the giving act: Regretsy has chipped in by auctioning off a selection of handmade scary knitted hats. You can check up on Aidan’s treatment and progress on his family’s website and see just where your monster money is going. [Aid For Aidan] Keep reading »
Some women will go to extreme lengths to snag a man and have the wedding of their dreams. Jessica Vega, for instance, of Yonkers, New York, told her husband and countless others that she was dying from leukemia when she was perfectly healthy. Keep reading »
Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary passed away from leukemia yesterday at the age of 72 and I teared up several times last night and this morning just thinking about her.
When I was 14 years old, my Girl Scout leader, who also happened to be the editor of our dinky local newspaper, asked if I wanted to become an intern. One of the very first stories she asked me to write was covering a talk at our town’s university by the folk singer and activist Mary Travers. I knew vaguely about Travers’ folk trio—everyone sang “Puff The Magic Dragon” in kindergarten, right?—but I was well past the age of listening to Peter, Paul and Mary. They just sang kids’ music, right? I thought she was like Raffi.
But when Mary Travers spoke and performed that night at Fairfield University—wow! Travers wasn’t a kids’ music singer; she was one of the icons of America of the 1960s. Her music and her activism literally helped change the way we are in America today. Travers was an ally in the Civil Rights Movement, was arrested for protesting apartheid in South Africa, and sang songs about social justice, like “Blowin’ In The Wind,” whose lyrics, I’m sorry to see, are timeless. Here was a woman who was intellectual, creative, passionate, and compassionate who bravely stood up for what she thought was right regardless of its personal consequences to her — and yet still seemed like a happy person!
It truly was a life-changing experience for me, one of the first times I had a template for what kind of person I truly admired. Mary Travers was the first adult woman I looked to and thought, “I want to be you when I grow up.” Keep reading »
The following story turned even my black heart into a marshmallow rainbow where unicorns can prance. When we read about the eight-year-old British boy who proposed to his best girl at a laser tag party, we got so many warm fuzzies we nearly melted our plastic covered PC. After battling leukemia for four years, Reece Flemming was given weeks to live by his doctors. And the little guy had one big wish — to marry his grade school sweetheart. Oh damn, here come the tears. (Also, we adults can barely muster a man to take us out for casual drinks, and this kid is willing to commit?!) So, the brave and romantic Reece proposed to his girlfriend, Ellie Purgslove. She said yes (becoming the only child bride we would ever support). The parents set up a make-believe wedding with rings, a certificate and a Vicar officiating. Then the two went to dinner in the Mayor’s limo to celebrate for their first and last time as husband and wife. Sadly, albeit his wishes fulfilled, Reece passed away the very next day. Sorry, I can’t type anymore, I need a tissue. [Telegraph U.K.]
Keep reading »
Yesterday we anointed Rihanna one of the Patron Saints of The Frisky. Turns out, we weren’t just being cute! The singer put out a plea for a bone marrow donor for 41-year old leukemia Lisa Gershowitz-Flynn and as a result 5,000 people contacted DKMS and a donor was found. Way to go Ri-Ri! [Digital Spy U.K.] Keep reading »