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Blacksburg Area Volunteers Against Leukemia

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Our Purpose

BAVAL started to help us be recognized in The New River Valley when we did volunteer work for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and The Bone Marrow Donor Center. Later we became involved with The Hendrick Marrow Program and The Local Red Cross to better facillitate bone marrow drives.
Most of our work is in support of these organizations.

BAVAL's goals

Our goal is to help defeat blood related cancers. There are many ways to do this and none of them are easy. But they are far easier than constant chemo treatments. 1) We want to raise public awareness in The New River Valley and where ever our course might take us. 2) We want to promote research by helping to raise funds for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 3) We want to help people find cures now, which in many cases can only be a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. So we want to add people to the voluntary bone marrow donor registry. For Caucasians, this costs, as of right now, $73. For minorities it is free. 4) We want to help patients. That may entail many things. Information to support groups. Raising money. Whatever we are able to do.

The Reason.....

In December 2000 we had someone we care about a great deal diagnosed with an acute form of Leukemia. To combat the helplessness we felt at their illness, we became involved with The Virginia Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and The Bone Marrow Donor of The Virginias. This began in March of 2001. In our travels, we have met or heard about several people who are part of the 640,000 people living in the US with a blood related cancer. We have also come across many people who have lost someone close to them to a blood related cancer. Our friend is now in remission. We pray to God it stays that way. The people we've met, either in remission or receiving treatment, are still living with their illness. The key is that they are living. Treatment has come a long way in the last 10 years, and we are closer to a cure than ever. as long as these people live, there is the chance for treatments to improve, for better drugs to be discovered and the possibility of a cure. When you care about someone and there is that chance, how can you not take it.

UPDATE 9/22

Our friend who was in remission has relapsed. Problem with a relapse, is the ability of cancerous cells to become resistant to chemotherapy. What's left if that doesn't work is an experimental drug trial. A trial that may not be possible without the money donated by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It's a long shot, but it is a shot. I ask everyone who reads this to say a prayer for them.

update 5/25/02

My friend, Jennifer, lost her struggle with Leukemia. God rest her soul.