For as long as I can remember, there has never been anything my dad couldn’t do. He has always been a supportive father to my brother and I, a loving husband to my mom, and the hardest working man I know in both is personal and professional life. He always worked 40+ hour weeks and still found the time to be at every sports practice, game, and family dinner.
Although he was 71 years old when he was diagnosed, you would have never guessed it. He went to the gym every other day, biked long distances, and fueled his passion for the outdoors by hiking and backpacking around Washington and Southern Utah. In late 2017 he started remarking on how he was struggling to do the things that he normally did, like climb small mountains, or bike through canyons. My first reaction was “Dad, you are 71, you are probably just starting to feel your age, everyone has to slow down eventually.” But he just kept insisting that something didn’t feel right and decided to go to the doctor for some tests.
The tests were done on a Friday. On Saturday we received the worst news of our lives, my dad was diagnosed with leukemia. On Sunday he was admitted to the hospital where he stayed for the next 3 months. It all happened so fast, within 48 hours all our lives were turned upside down.
Currently there is no known cure for leukemia but thanks to organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) tireless cutting-edge research is being done to advance cures. This research saves lives but it cannot be done without funding. Every dollar counts, which is why I have created this fundraiser to support the mission of the LLS: “Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”
My dad’s chances of living as long as he did with this disease were less than five percent. But just like everything else he did in life, he saw a challenge and rose to the occasion. In between what seemed like endless rounds of chemo he remained determined to make his life as full as possible. Throughout the two and half years the adventures continued as he traveled through Europe with my mom, zip lined with our family in Whistler, and took us all to the Grand Canyon. He left us with so many memories to cherish through an otherwise difficult time, and that is the greatest gift our family could ever ask for.