As you know, one of the main reasons I chose to get involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year campaign is because these devastating blood cancers have touched the lives of so many around us. One of those, being a close friend of my family’s, Holly Yue.

Holly has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is currently waiting for a match to receive a bone marrow transplant. Her storyhas  inspired us to want to do more. So, together with her husband, Brian, we have scheduled bone marrow donor drives for our Movie on the Lawn event April 21st in Wilton, and the finish line celebration event after my 24 hour long run on May 5 at Silva’s Sheldon Inn in Elk Grove. Bloodsource will be on hand to register possible donors and provide more information about their bone marrow donor program.

I also want to share with you Holly’s personal story, written by her husband Brian:

Holly Yue was diagnosed with stage IV, low grade, follicular non- Hodgkin ʼs Lymphoma in August of 1997. Our daughter, Kathryn, was five and our son, Michael, was two at the time. The average life expectancy of an individual with this stage of  disease was six to 10 years. It was the most devastating news any young family could possibly imagine. Holly ʼs cancer remained fairly inactive over the next 11 years. Her positive attitude, active lifestyle, her desire to live each day to the fullest, and her strong faith in God have helped her battle the trials of this disease with grace, dignity, and even joy.

In the spring of 2009, Holly began her first grueling four month regimen of chemotherapy. Her cancer returned in the summer of 2010 and again in the fall of 2011. She is currently undergoing her fourth type of chemotherapy treatment while waiting for a bone marrow transplant, which if successful, could cure her of this disease. The effects of chemotherapy can be very debilitating. However, with the efforts of organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, it doesnʼt have to be any more.

LLS has helped fund research for drugs like Rituxan and Velcade which have become the standard in treating follicular non-Hodgkin ʼs lymphoma and are also used to treat other cancers and even rheumatoid arthritis. Chemotherapy has become relatively bearable as well as more effective with the advent of these new drugs. Additionally, LLS has assisted in bone-marrow transplant research. Transplant procedures have been fine tuned and now offer patients a chance for a cure without the high mortality rate that used to make transplants a last resort. Just 14 years ago, our treatment options were much more limited.

Today we need your help in finding a “perfect match” for Holly ʼs bone marrow. Without a 10 point match, chance for rejection and other post-transplant complications greatly increase. Its an easy test, just a swab of the cheek. You just might be the match for Holly or another patient out there searching!

–Brian Yue