why help fight cancer

Here is my promised post on “why” I’d like to lend a small part to the fight against cancer. I am not a cancer survivor but it the reality of it sure came close.

My personal Why:
To ride with this volunteer team is a special honor for me. As some that know me will know, in Feb. 2007 my daughter (then 6 yo) was diagnosed with a brain tumor found when she had rapidly lost strength and mobility in her left hand. Thanks to a great Pediatrician we had an MRI up at Primary Children’s Medical Center here in Salt Lake City within a couple days. The MRI showed us that the loss of her motor skills was due to what turned out to be a golf ball sized tumor smack dab on the middle of the all critical thalamus. Among other critical functions the thalamus acts as a relay center between the various sections of the brain and is located at the top of the brain stem. While the tumor might be slow growing, there were fluids building up around the tumor that were causing additional tissue displacement and were the cause of the rapid loss of her motor skills. In short it was looking very bad and brain surgery was required immediately. At this point the story gets long but thankfully it thus far has a happy ending. Thanks to the skilled hands and care of amazing surgeons, nurses and other care givers, God has kept her here with us. She is now eight years old and turning nine this fall. Her tumor has a chance of recurrence and we will watch her for several more years but, so far we are blessed to avoid chemo treatments and other drawn out battle/care measures.

We have been lucky but, each of us knows someone touched by cancer. This story is a small part of why I am excited to help this great fight, yet there are so many around us that still have a fight with cancer before them. The odds are this will even include many of us that read this. I would like to ask for you help today by donating to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Your donation goes directly to cancer research. In fact the Huntsman family underwrites the administrative costs of the foundation’s staff and the $235MM facility and hospital but, one family can’t do it all. The same procedures and equipment that successfully saved my daughters life are the results of research funded by regular people like you and me. We all need to help!

Again, Please Donate Here!
https://www.huntsmancancerfoundation.org/NetCommunity/johnnyheavens

About the Huntsman Hometown Heroes Team:
http://www.huntsmancancerfoundation.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=302&frsid=215
The Huntsman Hometown Heroes has endurance event teams for both cycling and running. As a team we get to ride or run (I will be riding) in some exciting events in an effort to bring awareness to the reality of cancer and to help raise funds for cancer research.

What I am doing:
Among other events during the year I am training to ride with the HH team in the Logan to Jackson Classic. aka LOTOJA. http://lotojaclassic.com This is a 206 mile bike race that goes from Logan Utah to Jackson Wyoming. Thousands of feet of climbing and an epic event that has to be seen to be believed. I’m out of shape and haven’t ridden hard in years but this is a good reason to get off my duff. Last year the HH team raised over $100K during this event. $70K of that was raised by the Hometown Heroes via friends like you. No amount is too small so please give what you can and please feel free to send this e-mail to everyone that might be willing to invest in something that can surely bless all our lives.

If you use http://twitter.com then feel free to follow me as @johnnyheavens and I’ll give you updates on the fundraising progress and my training.

Donate online here:
https://www.huntsmancancerfoundation.org/NetCommunity/johnnyheavens
Help me reach my goal of $3000 and I will also personally donate the cost of my entrance fees for the race that would normally be paid for me as a member of Hometown Heroes (About $170 this year)

Below are some links to info you may find helpful.
Huntsman Cancer Foundation
http://www.huntsmancancerfoundation.org
FAQ – Huntsman Cancer Foundation
http://www.huntsmancancerfoundation.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=339

Ways to Donate
Online (Fast, Safe, and Secure)
https://www.huntsmancancerfoundation.org/NetCommunity/johnnyheavensPlease Mention the Hometown Heroes and indicate you’d like to make a donation by credit card over the phone.

In Person: Give a check to me in person when you see me. Please make check payable to “Huntsman Cancer Foundation”
By Mail: Please make check payable to “Huntsman Cancer Foundation” and mail to 500 Huntsman Way, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108. Include your full name and address so we can send the correct tax information.

Thank you all for your time!
~John

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