11. May 2013 · Comments Off on BE A HERO · Categories: Fundraisers, Information, News and Updates

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Hi! It’s Jeff with a note about the upcoming BE A HERO fundraiser.

The event is being held on —May 19— and many of you have already received an invite via Facebook Events with full details. The fundraiser is in Chicago. Not in Chicago? …or if you can’t make it, please consider a donation. ANY amount is helpful and appreciated!

As a reminder this fundraiser is to benefit my brother-in-law and sister’s family in his fight against MDS. Because of Mark’s bone marrow transplant last month, he’s been unable to work and still won’t be able to earn a paycheck for the next 6 months, or longer. And the medical bills will keep on piling up that entire time…and longer because he will likely be on (very expensive) anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life. Presently, he has Acute Graft versus Host Disease, a frequent complication of bone marrow transplants.

A little background. A little over two months ago, Mark started his battle against MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome; Robin Roberts from GMA chronicled her own fight against the disease recently). He took chemo for about 8 days to kill off his existing bone marrow and immune system. Then he took an infusion of donor stem cells to repopulate his system.

The little buggers are grafting on, but he has developed Acute Graft versus Host Disease in his gut, a frequent complication of bone marrow transplants, and he is reliant upon antirejection drugs for the long-term now. All of this has happened in a very short time frame, but the healing process is much longer. As he undergoes additional biopsies over the coming months and they adjust his medications accordingly, we are hopeful that the donor cells will completely supplant any hiding host cells. The end result is a happy, mostly normal life for him with my sister, Terri, and being able to watch their two kids, Caitie and Kai, grow up.

It sounds simple, but it’s not. It’s a painful, exhausting process and he has to basically rebuild his entire immune system as well as the red blood cells and platelets from scratch now. To put it in perspective, he’s learning how to walk around the block again without passing out.

That’s where he and his family need you. The fundraiser lets you be their hero by showing what a hero is. And if you can’t make it, please consider a donation here in lieu of attendance. Every dollar counts, both emotionally and financially, so ANY amount is appreciated.

WHEN: Sunday, May 19th, 1-6pm (family hour from 1-2pm; adult time starts at 2:30)

WHERE: Nolan Studios, 1770 W Berteau Avenue #205

ADMISSION: $40; your donation at the site below will count as your ticket. (Credit cards accepted).
http://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/dgz1/supportingthegagnons

SILENT AUCTION:
• Handmade queen-size quilt crafted by mother, Loretta
• Custom-made entry/occasional table along with a plant stand straight from my father’s woodshop
• $50 gift certificate from Pastoral
• Gift from Circuit Mom Productions
• High-end fishing equipment
• And more!

50/50 RAFFLE

ART AUCTION

OPEN BAR AND FOOD PROVIDED

MUSIC by DJ Billy Brown

QUESTIONS: Jeff, 773-575-4786

DONATIONS
http://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/dgz1/supportingthegagnons

GRAFT VERSUS HOST DISEASE EXPLAINED
http://www.medicalistes.org/gvhd/docs/what_is_gvhd.html

MDS EXPLAINED
http://marrow.org/Patient/Disease_and_Treatment/About_Your_Disease/MDS/Myelodysplastic_Syndromes_%28MDS%29.aspx

BECOME A BONE MARROW DONOR
http://marrow.org/Home.aspx

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