February 25, 2002 is a day that shattered our stable existence. It is the day our youngest daughter, Monica, was diagnosed with Leukemia. Monica had recently turned 8 years old. A normal, intelligent, and happy kid. A week earlier she had complained of leg pain and couldn’t catch her breath during a short hike. That day though, was very long. We went to our Dr., had some blood taken; the results were abnormal to a critical level and we were sent to Oncology. That was a very long 30-minute car ride. Next came more blood tests, IV fluids, bone marrow biopsy, and a diagnosis.
After hearing the word “leukemia”, it was just like in a Charlie Brown movie: “whaa, whaa, whaa” mixed in with coherent words, ”26 months of chemotherapy”, “she will lose all of her hair”, “she cannot go to school for a year…” It was unbelievable that this could happen to an innocent child and a happy, loving family. It was difficult for our eldest, Nicole, too; we tried to make life as normal as possible for her.
Monica was hospitalized for a week, had several blood transfusions, surgical placement of a Hickman catheter, and chemotherapy started. For the next 26 months, Monica popped pills, had biopsies, spinal taps, needles galore, and a very good outcome. We feel we owe our good outcome to medical research, and we live to support future research.
The Trent family has become crusaders for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Instead, of asking why us, we focused on what we can do actively to help find cures— Joining forces with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team-in-Training program to raise money for cancer research and treatment was our way of finding meaning. Each member of our family has raised money and competed in endurance races such as marathons, triathlons, and century bike rides. We have raised more than $150k so far.
We volunteer our services to another LLS program called Light the Night – an evening for honoring survivors and victims of cancer. In addition, we are “first connection” volunteers for LLS. Newly diagnosed families can connect with us for someone to talk to during this tough time. We symbolize hope – what an honor to be a symbol of hope….
Anyway, why this letter? You probably figured out that this is an appeal; An appeal for money.
You see, this year, 2016, life is sending us on another detour – Christopher has been chosen as a National Representative of LLS doing, what else, an endurance event. And not just some endurance event—but the big daddy event, the Ironman Championships in Kona Hawaii in October. That’s where you swim 2.4 miles, then ride 112 miles, then run 26.2 miles – yes Mom, all in the same day!
The Ironman event doesn’t worry him though. Frankly, what worries us most is that we want to be successful in raising money-- for this honor, we have pledged to raise $50,000, but our personal goal is to raise at least $100,000! That’s why it’s important for you to donate now and share this with as many people as you can – before tomorrow begins!
You know, as parents, we are supposed to protect our vulnerable kids. Our daughter got her cure thanks to research done before her diagnosis, and the treatments are getting better with ongoing research. We hope to protect some future kid, so his/her outcome will be as good as Monica’s.
Please give until it hurts – Thank you for your generosity and support. The Trent family appreciates you! Donate online at: www.GoTeamTrent.org.
Very truly yours,
Chris, Lisa, Nicole, and Monica
ps. All expenses are being paid by ourselves; all donations to LLS go to LLS (tax ID 13-5644916)