Within 24 hours of going to the local emergency room in New York, I found myself being admitted to the Dana Farber/Brigham Women's Cancer Center in Boston. It was August of 2013 and I was exhausted beyond anything my four kids could inflict upon me and shocked to find out it wasn't anemia, I had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
After several rounds of chemotherapy, it was determined that I was missing some typical markers and that most likely the leukemia would reoccur. I would need a high intensity stem cell transplant to potentially cure me forever. I went home to wait.
Lucky for me, an almost perfect, anonymous donor was located through "Be the Match." Six rounds of 20-minute, full body radiation ensued to kill my existing immune system so that the donors stem cells could be infused into me, followed by six months quarantine. Now here I am: a Warrior!
I've recovered extremely well and with the support of dear friends, we began the Wicklund Warriors. We were able to kick off our fundraising through the Light The Night walks at Siena and our first annual Wicklund Warriors Stemcellabration fundraiser last November at the Roost.
In the 18 months since my diagnosis, we have raised about $40,000 for the patient services division of the Upstate New York/Vermont chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). "Survive and Thrive" is our motto! With that, we would like to continue the celebration to wage our war and victory against blood cancers. Going forward, we anticipate most of the donations will come from the Stemcellabrations and become an ever growing event. Visit our Wicklund Warriors Facebook page to see our awards, events and press coverage!
Our mission is simple: the Wicklund Warriors are joining the fight against blood cancers and raising money for our local chapter. Contributions help bring financial support and educational programs to families/patients dealing with blood cancer. Every battle won and every dollar raised is a small victory toward winning the war.