James P. Joseph, Esq.
As I do every year on April 27th, I will again quietly mark the anniversary of my leukemia diagnosis. On July 5th, my family will celebrate what will be my seventh year since receiving the stem cell transplant which ultimately cured me of cancer.
I was 34 when I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). That day began like any other day -- I thought I was perfectly healthy, young, and invincible. I went to the hematologist only because a routine blood test indicated an elevated white blood cell count. My last vestige of youth’s invincibility was whisked away. On the drive home, I contemplated how I would tell my wife Elsa that I had cancer. She was 7 months pregnant with our second child, Margaret; our daughter Emma was just 2 years old at the time.
Thus began my journey with cancer, first as a patient and now as an advocate in the fight against cancer. Today, I am honored to have the opportunity to help raise critical funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a candidate in the Man and Woman of the Year competition. I hope you will support me in this exciting event.
For me, it would be 6 years between diagnosis and transplant. Before my stem cell transplant, I was told that I might not survive, and a perfect outcome, the outcome I ultimately obtained, was improbable. The odds of complications, possibly debilitating and permanent were all too great.
As I write to you today, I am happy to share that my experience as a cancer patient is nearly a decade behind me. While my cancer is now gone, countless people are diagnosed daily, their lives turned upside down, and many still do not survive.
That is why I am thrilled to have the honor of competing in the Man & Woman of the Year campaign for LLS. This is a 10-week national competition to raise money for blood cancer research and patient services. Whoever raises the most money “wins” the competition. Of course, what matters most is that the more we raise, the closer we come to winning the fight against cancer.
June 5th marks the Grand Finale for this campaign. For my family, this June marks the seven-year anniversary of the day I said goodbye to my children as my wife and I temporarily relocated to Boston so I could receive a stem cell transplant, the treatment that saved my life.
With your support, the day will come that no one will ever be told that they, their parent, their spouse, sibling or child, has a terminal cancer. We can make a difference in countless lives by supporting LLS. Since its inception, LLS has invested more than $1 billion in research, $68 million in 2012 alone. Without their funding, the drugs and procedures available to me would not have existed.
My goal is to raise $100,000 between now and June 5th for the Man & Woman of the Year campaign. The phenomenal team that has volunteered to help me would like to see us surpass that goal! However, we can only achieve this goal with your help. The study of the blood cancers has led to better understanding and treatment of so many other cancers. Your dollars do make a difference. Whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated.
Donations can be made online here or by mailing a check made payable to the “Leukemia and Lymphoma Society” to:
Joseph Law Group, P.C.,
666 Old Country Road, Suite 303
Garden City, NY 11530
Cancer is universal. It touches us all. But we can do something about it. On behalf of my team, my family, and the ever expanding cancer community, I thank you.