In Jon Christoffersen’s house, important occasions - such as the end of chemotherapy - are worthy of great celebration. First it was a tattoo to mark the beginning and end of his treatment, and now, on his 10-year anniversary of being cancer free, it’s time to party.
A house party complete with toast in his honor and a “%&#%$# Cancer” cake marked the occasion in December for Christoffersen, who had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when he was a teenager. He's now 29. Although he never needed a bone marrow transplant, he and his wife, Kelly, were aware of how important that option is for many survivors and included a representative from Be The Match. They told their guests how easy it was to be a marrow donor and the only people who didn’t sign up were those who were too old, had an extreme needle issue or a pre-existing blood condition.
While Christoffersen appreciated the party, he noted that it doesn't take much for him to remember his cancer experience as he had his first and last dates of chemo tattooed on his left forearm.
Survivorship Series: Fifteen years after being diagnosed, Laura reflects on getting back to "normal."
I am glad to be here. Literally.
Being a survivor is a good thing. I could have been six feet under, after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on December 16, 2000. I was 40 years old, raising two children with my husband Ron. Our daughter was almost 4 years old and our son was 16 months.
After I was diagnosed, I spoke with a survivor through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s First Connection program. Hearing her voice on the phone gave me so much hope. She was seven years post-diagnosis. I told her, “I can’t wait to be on your side of the fence.” About two years later, I was, having gone through training to be a First Connection volunteer. It makes me feel good to help others. When I was in the hospital, my mother said to me, “Who knows? Maybe you will be a spokesperson for the cause someday.” I responded by telling her no way, I just wanted to get back to my life - I did not want to be a member of this club.
Auto Club Speedway Teams up with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Orange County Inland Empire Chapter is excited to announce a new partnership with Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Auto Club Speedway, California’s premier motorsports facility, is geared up to support LLS by hosting a series of fundraising events throughout the coming year.
Auto Club Speedway continues to be involved in making a difference in the local community, and the driving force behind their partnership with LLS is the close connection blood cancer has had on the Speedway family.
In April 2014, vice president of operations, Ray Wilkings’ very own daughter was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). She has since received a bone transplant from her mother, Darlene Wilkings, and is now leading a normal life with no sign of cancer.