Did you know that the average length of treatment for leukemia is 26 months? Did you know that every marathon is 26.2 miles? Why are these two facts important? WellÖÖ 

Iím running the Disney Marathon on January 11th for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS)! The LLS is an organization whose goal is to accelerate cures for leukemia and related cancers. The society supports 5 major programs: research, patient services, financial aid, public and professional education and community services.

 Why am I doing this? Partly because Iím crazy but mostly because the patients Iíve taken care of have left an impression on me. For example Codie was the first child I ever took care of with leukemia. Her spunk and energy was an inspiration to everyone around her. Codie had this special beanie baby that was a lamb. Before we could do any procedure or give Codie any medication, the lamb had to have it first. I ran into Codieís mom a few weeks ago. From what she said, Codie still has that same spunk. I forgot to ask how the lamb is doing. 

Laura was another patient I took care of. Laura was diagnosed as a teenager. She fought a long hard battle. Throughout her fight, Laura was always thoughtful. I remember talking to her one night about how I was in the process of moving to Farmington. Laura lived in Avon. She told me about all the places to go shopping and grab a bite to eat. Laura was the key factor in establishing the teen room at CCMC. Itís one place that lets the teenage patients ďhang-outĒ. Sorry but no parents allowed!  Laura lost her courageous battle in January.

 There are so many patients that Iíve met and each one of them has shown me the importance of valuing each day. Together with your generosity and my commitment, we can reach my fundraising goal of $3500. Please send your tax-deductible donation to me by Halloween. Donations will gladly be accepted until the marathon. Make checks payable to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Feel free to copy this letter and send it to your friends and family.

Keep Smiling,

Jennifer M. Martin RN, BSN
Infection Control Practitioner
Connecticut Children's Medical Center
phone: 860-545-9392
fax: 860-545-9371