One of my wonderful former students, Allison Boyce, was a bright, shining light as a trumpet player in my class and excelled in her other studies in high school. She is all grown up now and pursues a very rewarding career as a registered nurse in the cancer ward at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She becomes very involved with the families of many of her little patients and often sees many of them succumb to cancer - mostly leukemia.
One particularly remarkable little one, Maggie, was admitted at just three months of age. Allison provided lots of TLC when Maggie was vomiting, shaking with fever, and receiving blood products, or in pain after a procedure to put chemotherapy into her spine. Maggie fought hard for six months and won her battle with leukemia. She is now cancer-free and happily toddling around.
Allison and Maggie
As of 2009, approximately 70,000 people are living with a blood cancer in Canada. Every 35 minutes a Canadian is diagnosed with a blood cancer, and every 73 minutes a Canadian dies from a blood cancer.
Leukemia and lymphoma account for 44% of all childhood cancers. Lymphoma is the most common cancer in adolescents and young adults. Overall, men are diagnosed with blood cancer more frequently than women.
This Thursday, October 8, Allison will be participating in a 5km Light the Night walk with Maggie's family and friends to raise money for the Greater Toronto area chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. She hopes to raise $1000 and is almost at her goal.
I enjoy writing this blog and am pleased I might actually be able to do some good for this cause by putting a couple of faces to it and promoting this most worthy endeavour. If you feel you might be interested in helping Allison achieve and possibly exceed her $1000 goal, you can click on this link and scroll down to the "Sponsor Me" button and do your tax-deductible magic. You can also help all year round by being a blood donor.
I thank you very much.