Roy Flores, Jr.
Class of 1977
My family’s first encounter with leukemia was over 20 years ago when my 8-year-old nephew, Nicholas, was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL). I remember the fear that gripped our entire family as this healthy, active, little boy was diagnosed with leukemia. The biggest fear was what would the prognosis be for Nicholas? I recall the helpless feeling I personally had when Nicholas was going through his battle with leukemia. I would have given every penny I had to ensure a positive outcome, but I didn’t have very many pennies at the time to give. Wanting to do something I signed up to be a bone marrow donor. (I was selected as a potential match to donate, but during the screening process the recipient lost his battle with cancer.) Today, despite the tremendous progress in treatments, leukemia remains the number 1 terminal cancer in kids under the age of 20.
My sister and brother-in-law immediately began working with the doctors and Dayton’s Children Hospital to battle this disease, and Nick did his part bravely enduring the treatments. The entire family was amazed at the strength and character Nick displayed throughout this process. After 3 1/2 years of chemotherapy treatments, steroids, doctor visits and countless other procedures, Nicholas was declared a long-term survivor. Today Nick is 30 years old with a son of his own. He is a success story of someone that benefitted from the research done by LLS.
In 2002 I was having some trouble sleeping due to some neck pain. I thought the pain was caused by the way I was sleeping, or stress. So I bought new pillows and tried to ignore it, but while getting ready for work one morning I rubbed my neck and felt a small lump. I was sure it was nothing. I mentioned it to Allison (my wife), but I quickly dismissed it. She did not! Allison made me a doctor’s appointment - that I was too busy to go to. Allison convinced me it was not in my best interest to miss the appointment she rescheduled for me. Not wanting more lumps on my head, I went to the next doctor appointment. I will remember that doctor’s appointment forever, and how it rocked my world. When the doctor examined my neck she simply said, “Oh my, ..oh my!” The words are etched in my memory, but it was more the tone in which she said the words, and the way her body language changed that startled me. The doctor did not want to jump to any conclusions without running tests, so I had to question her to find out what it was she did not want to tell me. After the doctor told me that she suspected I might have cancer, all I could think of was what do I tell Allison and the girls.
After several more doctor appointments and tests, it required a biopsy of my lymph nodes to confirm I had Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My chest was full of tumors. The good news was that because of the research that had already been done by LLS, a chemotherapy protocol for Hodgkin’s existed to treat me. Through faith, family, friends and excellent care by Dr. Leming and the nurses at Mercy South, my family and I endured the months of treatments. We were able to become a survivor family due largely to the research done by LLS that was made possible in a large part by donations made by individuals like you. Through the process many people touched our lives. Our faith and friendships were increased throughout this journey.
My family has been blessed that both Nicholas and I are cancer survivors. Our story is one of hope and gratitude for the research that has already been accomplished by LLS. However, like most families we have also felt the pain of loss to cancer. My uncle Jimmy lost his battle with cancer, my son-in-law lost his father to cancer, and we have seen too many friends lose the battle directly or through the loss of family members. It is my goal to do whatever I can do to prevent any more families from losing a loved one to cancer. That is why I am seeking your support. Below I have listed several different ways you can join me in this effort:
1. Make a generous tax-deductible contribution to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society before June 10, 2011. (Please put my name on the memo line for Man of the Year credit.) If your company has a matching gift program, please take advantage to maximize the value of your contribution!
2. Make a contribution to my campaign by logging on to my fundraising page
Simply log on, click “Meet the Candidates”, click on my name. Make sure to pass the web address on to all your friends!
3. Buy a table or tickets to the Grand Finale celebration June 10, 2011.
4. Become a sponsor of the campaign or buy an advertisement in the Grand Finale program, or host a fundraising event.
5. Donate a good or service for me to use in a fundraising event, or at the silent or live auction at the Grand Finale.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society carries a 501 (C) (3) status granted by the IRS. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by the law, as long as your contribution is made to “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”
Thank you for your consideration,
Roy E. Flores, Jr.
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