ORGANIZATION SEEKS TO WIPE OUT BLOOD CANCERS IN OUR LIFETIME
by Paul Driessen, ©2014
I am honored to be campaign manager for Ben Rubenstein, whom I profiled in a 2013 article, and whom The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has nominated as a 2014 “Man & Woman of the Year” candidate! We hope you will help us achieve our ambitious goals.
Eleven years ago, Ben lay on a hospital bed with an obliterated immune system, as stem cells from an anonymous baby girl sped through his veins. He closed his eyes and envisioned the cells sticking inside his hollow bones and repopulating his marrow with clean, cancer-free cells. He was just 19 years old and battling his second cancer, this one affecting his blood. His fantasy became reality, and he survived myelodysplasia through a combination of hope, attitude, support and modern medicine.
Ben inspired my daughter Amy during her toughest times battling leukemia, and they are not alone. More than a million Americans are living with blood cancers. Every four minutes, another person is diagnosed; every ten minutes, someone loses the battle. However, since 1949, LLS has been leading the way in improving the odds of beating blood cancers: from 5% in 1965 to 95% today for certain diagnoses! As the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to blood cancer, in 2013 LLS invested $74 million in research. Charity Navigator rates it 3 stars out of 4 overall, and 4 of 4 in accountability and transparency.
Each year, the National Capital Area chapter of LLS selects approximately 20 candidates to reach our fundraising goal of $1.25 million. For the ten-week campaign from April 3 through June 14, our team goal is to raise $10,000 for each of Ben’s cancer-free years – a total of $110,000! If our campaign raises $50,000 or more, then our efforts will be linked to a specific cutting-edge LLS-funded research portfolio in Ben’s name.
Ben’s CancerSlayer fundraising team would be grateful for your support, and no amount is too small. All the money we raise will go directly to LLS and help find a cure, reduce adverse side effects of treatment, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. In most cases your donations are tax-deductible (the tax ID number for LLS is 13-5644916). Your employer may even match your charitable gift, so we hope you will ask. We also hope you will share this letter with friends and neighbors, to increase your cancer research impact.
Online donations are accepted until June 14, but please send check donations to Ben by June 7, to ensure they count toward his campaign total. To donate online, please visit my fundraising Web page, http://MWOY.org/pages/nca/dcmetro14/PDriessen Or make a check donation out to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (please write RUBENSTEIN in the memo), and send your contribution to: The Rubensteins, 7092 Kings Arm Drive, Manassas, VA 20112
For more information about LLS and the “Man & Woman of the Year” fundraising campaign, please visit www.MWOY.org/nca or email Ben at BMRubenstein@gmail.com or me at PKDriessen@gmail.com.
For Ben Rubenstein, 2014 Man of the Year Candidate
Paul Driessen, father
of a cancer survivor
Ari & Sarah Driessen
Gilbert Ross, MD