Chip was diagnosed with stage 4 Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia on June 18th 2007. Chip’s brother Duke spent the next week trying and trying to reach their other brother Wade, with no success. On June 27th Duke called the Asheville Police Department to have them go by Wade’s house and tell him to call Chip. Hours later, Duke received a call from an Asheville Police Chaplain explaining that the police had found Wade and that he had been dead for several days. An autopsy later confirmed that Wade died on June 22nd. We work to both honor the memory of Wade and support Chip’s battle against cancer. We hold events to raise money for cancer research and patient services through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Some of us RUN, some of us WALK and some of us SWIM. We do it because we want to help. We do it because we need to remember. We do it because brothers.
Over the years, we have come together as a family to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s events, Team in Training and Light the Night, participating in the Atlanta Half-Marathon, the Seattle Marathon, and five Light the Night Walks in the Triangle, as a team and on the local walk committee. In our fundraising over the years, we have raised $100, 000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, because they are an organization that is firmly committed to the mission Because, Brothers set out to do: raise money to find a cure for blood cancers, and support our family’s own fight against leukemia. Their organization is unique from other organizations fighting cancer because so much of the funds raised through LLS– seventy-five percent– goes back to the organization’s mission, and so much at the local level. When Chip was going through his treatments at Emory, he saw directly how they support local patients and treatments and research. Cancer sucks, but it is also REALLY expensive, and many patients rely heavily on this support. So we can’t quit, just because Chip is in remission. So we have continued to support this cause year after year.
And so we are on the path again! Only this year our path is the unending lanes of a lap pool, and lakes, and in September it will be the Hudson River Swim For Life. This is the only chapter that offers an open-water swim for LLS, and so Carrie has pledged to swim the three mile down-river swim in White Plains, NY after hearing of another friend battling the fight against lymphoma. When she heard her friend Jessica was diagnosed, she was working a temporary job at the local LLS chapter, helping them wind down their Pennies for Patients year. Jessica found a lump on her neck that wouldn’t go away, and so she got it checked out. Weeks before she had given birth to twins, and she had a toddler in the house! As a young mother, this story struck Carrie down; she could not imagine having 3 children under 5 and chemo! Whoa. Jessica was in Maryland, though, so she prayed for her, she cheered her on through Facebook, and she Googled “Open-water swim leukemia.” That search was the answer– time for another Team in Training Campaign! We are so close to a cure, if we just continued our support for patients like Chip, Jessica, Franny, Granddaddy, and Carl, maybe, just maybe there will be a cure. We have to keep fighting it, and hopefully it will be here before Francie and Jane, and Jessica’s children James, Isabella and Nathan, are adults. I really hope so. But if you help us, we can get closer to that, one dollar at a time. One lap at a time. One (cold, wet) mile at a time.