Tom Roberts, our family friend and Courtney's Cause board member, will be competing in the Lake Placid Ironman and Princeton Triathlon this summer to raise money for our foundation. Please read his letter below and consider supporting him in this endeavor! Thank you!
I hope 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for you… hard to believe we’re into July!
Please note… This is a request for a charitable contribution. While I encourage you to read on to learn more about “why”, feel free to scroll down to see how you can help.
As most of you know, over the past 10 years I’ve used my participation in the sport of triathlon to raise money for causes that are important to me. This year I will be competing in the Lake Placid Ironman (140.6 miles, +/- 14:00) on 7/27 along with the Princeton Ironman 70.3 (half-iron distance) on 9/21 and I will use these races as a platform for supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in their fight against blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma); and Courtney’s Cause (The Courtney Anne Diacont Memorial Foundation) in our fight against colon cancer through awareness and patient support (I serve on Courtney’s board).
Sadly, we all know people, adults and children, who have battled cancer of all forms. Many win that battle, others are not as fortunate. Great work is being done both globally and at the grassroots level by quality organizations like LLS and Courtney’s Cause to help find cures, educate and provide support to patients and their families.
Here are a couple stories that move me to want to give back and make a difference…
Courtney Diacont, oldest daughter of Chuck and Mary Diacont, sister of Chad, Margaret and Sam, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age 16 (unheard of, right!), and passed away after a courageous battle in March of her senior year (2007) at the age of 18. Shortly before she died, Courtney’s said to her Mom, “Mom, people need to know about this”! With that goal in mind, Courtney’s foundation was formed and this grassroots organization set out to raise money to increase awareness about colorectal cancer and to support families dealing with various forms of pediatric cancer (including Leukemia). Please go to Courtney’s web-site (www.courtneyscause.org) to learn more about her story and our foundation.
Some facts… Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US but with screenings and early detection, it can be prevented or treated effectively. 90% of new cases occur in people 50 or older, but we know that younger people, while rare, are susceptible as well. On a positive note… 90% of those diagnosed when the cancer is found at the local stage (confined to the colon or rectum) survive more than five years. Unfortunately, most diagnosis of colon cancer is found after it has spread. People with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or off-spring) who has colon cancer have two to three times the risk of developing the disease. Screenings are the key to prevention, detection and treatment of colon cancer!
Laney Brown from West Reading, PA passed away on Christmas Day last year. On 12/21/2013, Laney’s eight birthday, 10,000 people descended on her neighborhood to sing Christmas Carole’s in response to her ”bucket list” wish which she expressed with a beautiful smile according to the tearful Facebook posts from her Mom. Eight year old children should not have a bucket list but here’s the link showing the power of community support when they do (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqcpwfWcSrw)!
Some facts… Every four minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer and every ten minutes someone loses their life to a blood-related cancer. As with colon cancer, there are over 1,000,000 people living with blood cancers in the US. Blood cancers are the second most fatal form of cancer and Leukemia is the leading cause of death in children/ young adults, yet it kills ten times as many adults each year. On a positive note… the attached video (http://vimeo.com/54668275) highlights the great progress that is being made in the fight against these deadly diseases. It is very encouraging to see the how the battle to cure blood cancers is being won through the great work of LLS researchers funded by the generous donations from people like us. Please go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society web-site (www.lls.org) to learn more about the good work of this organization.
Here’s how you can help…
Over the past twelve years, I’ve raised over $50,000 for LLS; and my good friend Jerry Moore and I raised about the same for Courtney’s Cause through our Ironman fund raising efforts in 2009 and 2010.
My goal this year is to raise at least $10,000 for each of these organizations over the next two months.
So what’s the right amount to contribute? That’s a personal choice, but $100 - $200 has been the average over time. I’ve had people give $10 which is certainly appreciated, and I’ve received a gift of $15,000 which is extremely generous. Whatever you can give will make a difference so please give… generously if you can.
You can contribute to The Courtney Anne Diacont Memorial Foundation securely online through our web site: www.courtneyscause.org (click Donate on the Home Page or the How You Can Help page and follow the prompts). Or with a check made payable to: The Courtney Anne Diacont Memorial Foundation (Mail to: Treasurer, The Courtney Anne Diacont Memorial Foundation, 648 Bok Road, Nazareth, PA 18064
You can contribute to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society securely online through the following link: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nj/tntnj14/trobert34g
Or with a check made payable to: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (Mail to: Tom Roberts, 1914 Box Elder Road, Allentown, PA 18103)
Please note that contributions to either organization is tax deductible as both are 501(c)(3) non-profits. Also, if your company has a Matching Gift Program, please submit for that.
A good friend of ours was recently diagnosed with cancer and her courageous fight is currently underway. In the spirit of a Navy SEAL warrior, her mantra is “Don’t ever ring the bell”! That’s a powerful attitude but it takes ongoing financial support to fight these deadly diseases. SEAL training is extremely difficult and racing Ironman is a long day, but that’s nothing compared to the fight and the fortitude required to battle cancer. We can help in this fight by contributing to Courtney’s Cause and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
In my business as a financial advisor, we talk with clients about their vision for the future. We work with them to develop a plan to realize that vision and, ultimately, to achieve “Quality of Life” in retirement. Holistically, we define quality of life as: 1) Health, 2) Relationships, 3) Attitude, 4) Financial Security, 5) Giving and Gratitude, 6) Things and Stuff (some folks put Giving and Gratitude ahead of Financial Security). Without the first three (or four), money and stuff mean much less. Focus on these things and your quality of life will be enhanced! When we give, “it” comes back to us in a bigger way! I will be racing (please know that I use the term “racing” loosely) in Lake Placid and Princeton with a “greater sense of purpose” knowing that we are making a difference through giving back.
I greatly appreciate your support and I value our friendship! If you’d like to help further, please pass this along to five or ten of your friends with a personal note requesting that they help us make a difference through their contributions as well.
Again, I “thank you” sincerely… All the best in 2014 and beyond!