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Inspirational Stories



Skaneateles, NY United States

We were clobbered, like every patient, every family, who gets clobbered with a life-threatening diagnosis.

In 2002 our healthy, brilliant 23-year-old son came home to discover that his misdiagnosed lumps were, in fact, stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma. When initial treatments failed, we contacted The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). I recall huddling in a little pocket of space between booths while we were frantically working at a bustling trade show, trying to carry on a life and death conversation with a person at LLS who had promising information for me. I remember trying to be normal when I was not even close. I was a wild bear wanting to save her cub, desperately.

One becomes a believer in all things that could lead to health. One becomes insatiably ravenous for vital, verified information, any step in the path back to “normalcy.” There were setbacks, more urgent searches, and thankfully, always an open door and telephone at LLS.

In the end, no treatment was able to cure our boy or save his beautiful life, but we were able in the darkest hours to offer him hope. Hope came in the form of information and innovative treatments that today, ten years later, could save our son.

Knowledge was the gold we could find and mine through LLS. We are grateful to know that crucial research continues -- research our son and daughter were part of, research that we now know will save the beautiful lives of others.

The Holland C. Gregg IV Research Fund is a part of LLS. Named for our boy, it supports trailblazing research in nontoxic immunotherapy by Dr. Catherine Bollard’s team at Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. and Baylor College of Medicine (led by Dr Helen Heslop) in Houston.  We raise funds through “A Dinner for Herm” and a special LLS ornament designed and sold just for this purpose each year.