I’ve not been very personable on this website thus yet, but my name is Jackie. This isn’t about me, though. This is about my Dad. My Dad and I have been best friends ever since I was a little girl. We’ve been through thick and thin together, but one experience I could only see from the outside was when he battled Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
When he was first diagnosed, I had just started fourth grade. He didn’t want to tell my sister and I for fear that we would worry and stop focusing on school. I remember him looking perpetually frailer coming home from his experimental chemotherapy, which would not have been possible without the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Watching the outdoorsman I knew and loved turn into a stranger wasn’t easy. My Dad lost a lot of weight and muscle mass due to the chemotherapy. His skin was translucent, he lost almost all of his energy reserves for anything besides work, and his hair turned a stark white and eventually fell out. But he never gave up.
I remember him telling me that it was never an option to give up—that he had to support his family and the cancer would absolutely not beat him. His dedication to his loved ones is so unsurmountable and endless that I can’t hold back tears while typing this.
Thankfully, my Dad has been in remission for twelve years now. In those twelve years, he’s taught me how to drive, helped me find my first job, helped me get over a bad breakup, given me an endless amount of advice, helped me buy my first car, helped save me from a long bout with depression, and he’s given me the opportunity to tell this story today.
He’s truly the strongest person I’ve ever known. I’m endlessly thankful to the pioneers of experimental treatments for blood cancers for possibly saving his life—our lives—and to LLS for funding the development of those treatments.
Please, if you can spare a couple of dollars, donate to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society to help the millions of people who are affected by blood cancers annually. If you’re having financial difficulty or cannot spare any money, please pass this on to as many people as possible.