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The Story of Love Lives On

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A Letter from Jenifer Kalamian

Dear Family and Friends,

Leukemia entered my life for the first time in 1997 when my four-year old nephew, Zachary Gibson, was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). For eight long years he battled with the disease that is like a roller coaster of terror and hope, remission and relief. There were too many weeks and months spent in the hospital when he should have been outside playing with his brothers and friends. In 2004 when he was just 12, Zach lost his battle with ALL, devastating our family. He was a bright, sweet boy who was always ready to smile and was just starting to live.

It is so sad that every four minutes a new person is diagnosed with a blood cancer and every ten minutes someone dies from it. Shockingly, leukemia causes more deaths to children than any other cancer! However, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) is working to change that. In the last ten years, LLS-funded research has been responsible for the approval of many new drugs that are now used to fight different kinds of cancer. In fact, almost half of the new cancer fighting drugs approved by the FDA were initially for blood cancers!

This is where I hope to make a difference. LLS has nominated me for their 2013 Woman of the Year charity event. The campaign runs from April 1st (no joke) through June 15th. My goal is to raise $80,000 for LLS through the Woman of the Year campaign and win a research grant in my nephew’s name. I have inherited the team name “Love Lives On” from my dear friend Gahlit’s husband, Marc, who won Man of the Year last year after Gahlit also died from leukemia in 2009. Now Love Lives On for Zach.

I will not win any special prize for my campaign; no vacation, no car, or prize money, only the satisfaction that I have done something to help prevent another family from losing a child to blood cancer so they can watch their children grow up. Zach would be a man of 21 today, just starting out. Every child deserves that chance. Will you help me?

To donate and to get more information on the Love Lives On campaign, please visit www.LoveLivesOnLLS.com. You can also donate with a check made to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (Attn. Chandra Rulf, 6033 West Century Blvd., Ste. 300, Los Angeles, CA 90045). Please write my name on the memo line to make sure I get credit for your donation (very important!).

On behalf of Zach, the entire Gibson and Kalamian families, we thank you. And remember…

Love Lives On,

 

Jenifer Gibson Kalamian