Because we are just so DARN close!

I’m going to be honest, I HATE asking people for money.  Even when it is for a great cause like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) it’s still uncomfortable, awkward, and unfortunately…necessary.  We have been blessed to have our daughter Delaney go from battling cancer, to being a cancer SURVIVOR.  We can now be done with cancer awareness and fundraising, right? Wrong.  You might not know it, but LLS is exactly like the mob: every time I think I get out, they pull me back in!

Actually, the real reason we can’t be done is because we aren’t finished.  We are so, so darn close…but we still need your help.  If you don’t believe we are close to finding the cure, let me give you some numbers to think about.  If you don’t mind, I’ll use the type of cancer Delaney had (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) as an example.

—Only 65 years ago, it was declared 100% FATAL.  So every single person that was diagnosed with it, died from it.  Almost all of them died within three months.  So if Delaney happened to be born 65 years ago, she would never have made it to her 7th birthday.

—By 1964, the medical community began to make a little progress, and achieved a 3% survival rate.  At that point, I wouldn’t have said that they were so darn close.

—Today, thanks largely in part to research and funding provided by charities like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and to people like you who have donated to them, there is over a 90% survival rate.  That is what I mean by being so close, but not finished yet.   I’m asking you to help finish it!  Not only the last bit for just the type of cancer Delaney had, but to help eradicate ALL blood cancers.   We can do this in our lifetime.  I don’t know if it’ll be from your dollar, my dollar, or some other generous person’s dollar that provides the funding that finds the cure, but it is definitely an exciting time with all the progress that is being made in this fight.

So let me introduce you to a wonderful family.  In late 2003, Mike and Desiree Wachter had a beautiful baby girl named Melina.  When she was only three months old, Melina was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (the exact same type Delaney had).  Seven months later, Melina lost her battle to cancer and passed away on September 7th, 2004.  Can you imagine losing a child before ever even getting to hear them tell you that they love you?  No, actually don’t imagine that.  Better yet, imagine the day when no other parents have to lose a child to cancer.

Desiree has the opportunity to have a research portfolio grant named after her Angel Baby Melina if her team can raise $100,000.  It is a lofty goal, which is why we need your help.  Stacey and I have joined her team and are committing to raise $1800 each as participants in Team in Training program.  We’ll be running the Denver Rock and Roll half marathon in October.  If you are financially able to help us with a donation, Tom’s personal site is:

http://pages.teamintraining.org/rm/denver15/tstafford

and Stacey’s is (if you can only donate to one, please feel free to donate to mine.  Just kidding, donate to Stacey’s):

http://pages.teamintraining.org/rm/denver15/sstafford

On a personal note, for those of you that know us, you know we aren’t getting any younger.  I told Stacey it is now or never for her to break the 2 hour mark on a half marathon.  I agreed to do this race with her if she agreed to give it her all to accomplish this goal.   She is going to be training her butt off to make this happen and I know she can do it, but please feel free to give her some encouragement over the next 4.5 months.   So hopefully on October 18th, 2015 Stacey will run 13.1 miles in less than two hours, and more importantly $100,000 will be raised and the newest research portfolio will be granted in Melina’s honor.   Thank you!!!

MelinaLLSpic

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