In all of our lives, there comes a time when we realize what the meaning of life is all about. For me, that time was April of 1997 when I was a Junior in High School. But where I found what the meaning of life was to me was not in a classroom at all, it was on a retreat and in the people around me. I realized, like Maya Angelou once said, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” We all are human, trip and fall, are weighed down by insurmountable guilt at times, but we must all rise, find hope in every breath, know that not every moment is intended to be happy, but when we stay positive, we find peace and contentment in God’s plan for us all, and can live every day the best we can. To me, I was barely 16, but that to me then was the meaning of life and always has been.
That message blossomed for me over the next two weeks from being the meaning to being the reason for living my life to the fullest. As an actress, I’ve gone on to perform on a Broadway Tour, but the most special show I have ever been blessed to be a part of was back then, in April 1997, at a local boys’ High School. There was a student from that school who I didn’t know too well, but had worked with me on other shows as a member of the Stage Crew and was completely bald. I didn’t know for the longest time that he was bald due to treatments from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, thinking he just chose to shave his head. I was young and uneducated about cancer. While he always shone as a kind spirit, we just didn’t really chat much… then. He was our Stage Manager and was lost all too soon by the end of that month, just one month before he’d graduate and go on to Dartmouth. With thousands in attendance at his memorial service, it was clear how many hearts he touched and I still talk to him in my heart often. And, to this day, he, more than anyone else I have ever met in my life, is the reason why I live every day like it’s my last.
While I can’t say that I knew him too well while he was in this world, it’s his legacy that lives on in the message that we should support funding for therapies and treatments that can help save lives like his today. Almost everyone knows someone whose life was taken all too soon by some form of Cancer, Leukemia, or Lymphoma. Someone else who has recently struggled with the loss of someone due to Leukemia is my friend, Renee Patrone, who lost her dear friend after a sudden three-month battle on January 1, 2013.
Renee, one of the most caring souls I’ve ever met, was nominated to run for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man or Woman of the Year competition for the Philadelphia region, accepted the nomination, and I’ve proudly accepted the honor of being on her team: Renee’s Recruits. Please join me in supporting her and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by making a donation to our team. Every dollar raised counts as one vote and the candidate who gets the most votes and raises the most money is named The Man or Woman of the Year.
How can your donation to Renee’s Recruits help to save lives? An estimated 1,012,533 people in the United States are living with, or are in remission from, Leukemia, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin’
So ask yourself, did you save a life today? You can. Is there someone whose life was taken too soon who inspires you to this day? What can you do in their memory? Please consider donating to this honorable cause today. All donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated. They'll not only support LLS research but patient services, advocacy, education, and community services. In order to accomplish our team’s goal, we need to raise $50,000 by June 12th so anything you can contribute will be greatly appreciated. My personal goal is to raise $5,000 towards this total. To make a contribution, please visit my website:
Doing so through my page will allow me to assess how much I’ve been able to contribute to the team over the course of the competition starting April 1, 2014 and running until June 12th, 2014.
Thank you so much for your time, consideration, and support. It means the world to us and you are truly making a difference in saving lives!
SAVE THE DATE: A Barn Bash on May 8th hosted by Renee’s Recruits to raise money for LLS!
To learn more about Renee and her team, Renee’s Recruits, please read her story at:
If you'd like to get involved in sponsoring an event or a fundraising dinner towards the cause, we'd love to hear from you no matter where you are in the country!
For more information about LLS, please visit www.lls.org.