Spring, the season of renewal, brings hope for fresh beginnings. Children can’t wait to step outside and experience longer days – days spent riding bicycles, jumping in rain puddles and discovering the world outside their front door. For some children though, days are spent getting blood draws, spinal taps and medication, which can lead to an immune deficiency and time in a hospital. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) wants to change that for children who are battling cancer, with a spring egg hunt whose name says it all: Hunt for a Cure.
“LLS is making a great difference in people’s lives,” Bob O’Loughlin, chairman and CEO of Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM), says. “The money raised from the event goes toward medical research, and helping families and their children. Kids get to see the LLS bunny arrive by helicopter, and have fun in Queeny Park. It’ll be a good time to go out and support a [wonderful] cause.”
This memorable event is already making a tremendous difference in the lives of its three honored heroes: Johnny, Alexia and Mason, who are cancer patients. Johnny’s mom, Sarah Grames, shares the alarming experience that led to her young son’s diagnosis.
“We found lumps on his neck,” Grames describes. “We spent about four months taking Johnny back and forth from the doctor’s office. They kept telling me it was a virus. Finally, they did a biopsy on his neck and confirmed it was cancerous. They found leukemia in his blood cells and did further testing to see what kind. He has acute lymphoblastic leukemia.”
Grames’ tenacity as an advocate for her child surely inspired Johnny as he prepared for the battle of a lifetime. “If you know there’s something wrong, keep fighting [for an answer],” she says. “It’s scary to see your baby so sick. So, speak up [on his or her behalf].”
Heroic assistance came in the form of an organization that is driven to eliminate cancer for all by raising funds for significant medical advancements. “LLS taught us what to expect,” Grames shares. “It has given us the tools to cope. Johnny’s amazing. He’s a little scared but so excited [about being an honored hero].”
The soon-to-be six-year-old and his family will join others in this day of delight, filled with nursery rhyme characters, pony rides, a petting zoo and more. It will give them a chance to celebrate the joy of life with their supporters.
“Everybody knows what leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma are about and how they affect all people, especially children,” O’Loughlin reminds us. “Please make a commitment to volunteering or writing checks out to LLS in support of this cause.” Give hope for the future when you join LLS in search of a cure at this spring event.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Gateway Chapter, 1972 Innerbelt Business Center Drive,
St. Louis, 314-590-2230, lls.org/gateway
HUNT FOR A CURE
March 31 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Edgar M. Queeny County Park in Ballwin
Go online at events.lls.org/pages/gat/huntforacure2018 to register or donate.