Annual Fund Giving

Giving More Moments to One Michigan Patient


Barbara Holmes

It might be easy to assume that life in the tranquil Western Michigan lakeside town of Elberta is fairly carefree. If life was carefree for Elberta resident Barbara, that changed dramatically in 2013, when she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL). At age 53, Barbara was obviously not a pediatric case, but she was young nonetheless, and her rural location would soon present her with significant challenges.

NHL is a frightening diagnosis, and the treatment regimen can be overwhelming, especially when you are far from the treatment facility. Barbara was initially treated at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, but she soon had to travel over 200 miles each way to University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor for a bone marrow transplant and a subsequent clinical trial. When Barbara’s cancer returned and she had to travel back to Ann Arbor to pursue more intensive therapies, the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan (CLF) stepped in to support her by providing her with travel reimbursement.

CLF was originally a children’s organization, and it has expanded to help adults and families too! We support patients like Barbara, who struggled to find resources, travel arrangements and emotional support. With your donation CLF will be able to provide much-needed resources to more patients like Barbara.

“From the very beginning, the people at CLF were very friendly and more than willing to help, not only financially but emotionally,” Barbara reflects. She noted that one of the counselors, Jennifer, kept in contact with her regularly. “Her phone calls seemed to come when I needed them most. Everyone that I have talked to at CLF seemed very caring and truly concerned for my well-being.”

More than 72,000 people each year are diagnosed with NHL, and more than 20,000 of them will die from the disease. The last thing someone like Barbara should worry about is finding transportation to and from her treatments. Providing Barbara with the support she needs is a key mission of CLF.

We’ve helped her focus on finding and achieving the best course of treatment and more peaceful moments. We are proud that so many Michigan patients have been able to turn to CLF, and thanks to donors like you, we have been able to make a difference for them. Sometimes that difference comes in the form of emotional support, or connecting families with information and resources. CLF also offers financial assistance, helping them afford medical payments or travel to treatments. While many are children, some, like Barbara, are adults who have no place else to turn. And because all donations we receive stay in Michigan, a gift from you can truly make the difference for a Michigan patient and remove at least one worry from their minds.

I am hoping you will help us create a peaceful moment for a family in the battle of their lives.


LaTanya

What were you doing on New Year’s Day of 2000? While most families were relaxing and perhaps taking in the Lions game, LaTanya’s family was doing something very different. They were at the hospital receiving a terrifying diagnosis. At 24 years old, LaTanya was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL).

While 95 percent of the time NHL affects adults (usually in their 60s and older), it does occur in children and young adults, and it throws a family into a frightening and overwhelming whirlwind. Suddenly, this Detroit-area family was consumed with tests, scans, lumbar punctures, biopsies and bone marrow aspirations. LaTanya’s family vowed to do anything and everything they could. Facing a disease that strikes more than 70,000 patients a year and kills 20,000 of them, they also vowed to make every moment together count. The Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan (CLF) stepped in to support this family financially and emotionally.

With your donation CLF will provide much-needed resources to more families like LaTanya’s. “I can’t describe the amount of love that I have received from CLF,” LaTanya says. “They have provided my family with financial help and recreational opportunities, giving us important time together.”

Even many years later, LaTanya experiences symptoms of NHL. Today, LaTanya has a family of her own, but she is still undergoing treatment, and the disease took its toll on her future prospects. Unable to work, she regrets not having had the opportunity to move up in the world. “The disease has affected my daily living. But it’s made me appreciate my family all the more.” Providing families like LaTanya’s with the support and resources to make the most of their time together is a key mission of CLF. We’ve helped LaTanya’s family focus on finding the best course of treatment and more peaceful moments. We are proud that so many Michigan patients and families have been able to turn to CLF, and thanks to donors like you, we have been able to make a difference for them. Sometimes that difference comes in the form of emotional support, or connecting families with information and resources. CLF also offers financial assistance, helping them afford medical payments or travel to treatments. And because all donations we receive stay in Michigan, a gift from you can truly make the difference for a Michigan family and remove at least one worry from their minds.

I am hoping you will help us create a peaceful moment for a family in the battle of their lives.