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I am honored to have been nominated for Woman of the Year 2007 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Along with that nomination, comes the responsibility to help raise funds to do research, release new drugs (including experimental ones), uplift and sustain the families, and last, but not least, help the victims of these devastating blood diseases. Leukemia and Lymphoma are the two diseases specifically mentioned and that make up the name of the organization, but my story comes from the blood disease multiple myeloma.

My mother, who was an extremely healthy woman, started to have pain in her back. It became such an issue she had to go to the doctor who then ordered an MRI to determine what was wrong. She had no other symptoms other than back pain. This was in November 2003. The MRI revealed a small crack in her spine that the radiologist told us could be fixed with a simple procedure. However, when my Mom, Dad, and I went to the hospital the day of the procedure, the radiologist came out to tell me and my family that she had a tumor on her spine. In fact, she had three of them. It felt as if a bomb had gone off in the room. My brother and sister had to find out all of this by phone and try and deal with it the best they knew how. One minute you are in a room waiting for a “simple” procedure and the next you and yours have had their whole lives changed forever. The radiologist told us he could not do the procedure until he knew exactly what he was dealing with as far as the tumors. So the process starts…x-rays, more MRI’s, blood tests, doctor exams, bone marrow tests, etc, etc. And all the questions start…Are the tumors malignant? Are they benign? Would she live? Would she die? What would life be like from here on out? There were so many questions and no answers at this point.

Then after many tests comes the diagnosis of multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a blood disease that affects tens of thousands of people a year. From November 2003 until June 2005, it was an uphill battle. My mother lost her battle against the horrible disease on June 20, 2005. During this time while we were all struggling, my father died of another type of cancer. I actually took both my parents to the oncologist’s office together to receive chemotherapy. There they sat married 47 years, holding hands on one side and getting chemo on the other. A memory, I am afraid, will never be erased.

My mother had to come and live with me and my husband the last six months of her life. She was a trooper, but I watched as the disease ravaged her body. I watched her get smaller and weaker. The oncologist used all types of drugs, including trial drugs, to extend my mother’s life.
So, all that being said, my very personal plea to you is to help STOP these diseases. These diseases affect the victims and their families in so many ways. We can make a difference! Along with your help, we can give these folks a “fighting” chance. We can give them new drugs. We can give them support. We can give them HOPE.

We can make a DIFFERENCE —– One donation at a time!!!! My personal goal is $50,000 and I think we can do it if we all work together. You can make your donations directly or online on my website.

Please help me to help them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely yours,

Donna Prinz, CRS, GRI, e-PRO, PHP
Keller Williams Professionals
828-277-8685

Many thanks for your support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! Be sure to visit my Web site often to check on my progress and please ask your friends to support my efforts. The address is http://www.active.com/donate/cwncmwoy05/cwncDPrinz