National Cancer Survivor’s Day
There are nearly 14 million people living with a history of cancer in the United States. Sunday, June 7th, is National Cancer Survivors Day – a day to celebrate those who have survived, provide inspiration for the recently diagnosed and support both families and communities.
Luxottica Senior Director of Operations for EyeMed, Meg Rusche, tells her husband’s inspiring story of survival and brings to light the struggles so many families face, and the organization that helped her family and others in the fight for a cure.
In November 2006, our family was turned upside down. My husband’s initial diagnosis was confirmed. Bill had mantle cell lymphoma, a deadly, indolent form of blood cancer. And, so our journey began.
Over the next six years Bill would endure hundreds of days of hospitalization, months of chemotherapy, numerous cutting edge therapies, and several complications requiring multiple surgeries and two stem cell transplants. As his ordeal continued, our family grew stronger.
Not without incident, my husband has recently passed the five year cancer free milestone. He is quick to acknowledge his success could not have been achieved without the relentless support of his family and one very compassionate young lady. Colleen, Bill’s unrelated bone marrow donor, joined the national bone marrow registry while attending Iowa University. In May 2010, without hesitation, she donated the stem cells that saved Bill’s life. It all started with a simple cheek swab.
Today, Bill advocates, speaks and conducts donor-recruiting events to grow our national registry with Delete Blood Cancer/DKMS Americas. DKMS is the world’s largest bone marrow donor center registering over 5 million potential donors and providing more than 47,000 patients with a second chance at life. In two short years, Bill’s efforts locally have produced results. Thousands of new potential donors have been added to the registry and several lives have already been saved.
Please join us on our mission to offer a second chance at life, as Bill received, to patients desperately in need of a matching stem cell donor. All that is required is a simple cheek swab to join the national registry. For information about all blood cancers and to request an online donor registration packet, please visit: deletebloodcancer.org.