Trample Cancer with Michael’s March
On Saturday 9/17, Michael and Matt will be running in 2nd Annual Lawyers Run for The Valerie Fund. If you didn't already know, Mike was treated for leukemia as a toddler. Thankfully, all that remains of that time are the awful memories. Every year we support The Valerie Fund, the local non-profit cancer and blood disorder treatment centers, so they will be around for Michael and all the other children that desperately them. Please join us in this fight with a tax-deductible donation. Any help you can give will be sincerely appreciated.
In 2010, our son Michael was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at only 2 years old. Without question, it was the worst time of our lives, but the remarkable doctors, nurses and staff at the Morristown Valerie Fund Children’s Center saved our child and got us through his battle, both physically and emotionally. The Valerie Fund has seven exceptional cancer centers for children in the tri-state area so kids can receive treatment close to home and families can stay together. ***Michael will need to visit one of these centers for the rest of his life.***
The Valerie Fund now treats over 6K childhood cancer and blood disorder patients each year. Sadly, that number has grown from 4K patients when we started fundraising. We would appreciate your help in reaching Michael's goal this year. Every donation, no matter the amount is sincerely appreciated! THANK YOU!!
Within 24 hours of arriving at the hospital, the Valerie Fund doctors gave us an accurate diagnosis, a plan to combat the cancer and Michael had his first dose of chemotherapy. They saved his life! Within 1 month, he was in complete remission. For 3 ½ years, we traveled to a Valerie Fund location for his treatments and, on March 15, 2013, Michael took his last dose of chemotherapy! He is currently in their Survivorship program. With their help, Michael has been in remission for over 12 years and he has been off chemo for nearly a decade!!
Since there are Valerie Fund Children’s Centers nearby, our family was able to stay together throughout his entire treatment. He was able to get his chemo, come home to play with his sisters and get tucked into his own bed with good night kisses--from *both of his parents.* We are still able to go to all the follow-ups with oncologists and specialists without too much interruption to school and his activities. The Valerie Fund’s nurses care for him like we would if we could. When he was younger, Child Life Specialists distracted him and all the other kids while we waited for tests and during awful treatments. Now, they are more like friends. Their Social Workers still care for our emotional well-being. The Valerie Fund Educational Liaison helped Michael transition safely into school and will ensure that his educational needs are met through college. And the onsite Neuro-psychologist checks to see that his cognitive functions are where they should be.
Beyond what they do for us, they do so much more for others: Financial Counseling to ensure that treatment costs can be managed; Integrated medicine and holistic treatments to help when drugs cannot; Palliative care to manage the symptoms and side effects of the illness and the treatment; Transportation services to get patients to the hospital when they otherwise couldn’t; Camp Happy Times to keep creating childhood memories despite treatment; Scholarships to help patients pursue higher education; Flashes of Hope to capture the moments; a Mom hotline to help them cope; and, a Grief Support Program when all hope is lost.
Today, Michael is a happy and healthy 15-year-old with a terrific outlook, but our journey is very far from over. Michael will be treated by an oncologist at a Valerie Fund Center for the rest of his life. We have been incredibly lucky so far, but they need to check for lasting side effects, and to make sure that he doesn’t relapse or develop a secondary cancer. We try to focus on the happy news, but the reality is that we need the Valerie Centers around forever--for Michael and all the other kids fighting cancers and blood disorders.
So, we walk and run to raise donations for them, and we invite you to help us. This year’s Lawyers Run and Valerie Fund Walk/5K will be held on September 17th in Verona Park, Verona, NJ. As always, our team is called “Michael’s March” to show Michael how proud we are of him and to celebrate when he finished treatment. It will be Mike's first year running with his dad. Please support Michael’s team and this terrific non-profit with a completely tax-deductible donation for this wonderful, worthy cause! We are truly overwhelmed by the love and support over the years.
Thank you for caring about Michael.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
Jodi & Matt Savare