Letter: Help find a cure

By on September 1, 2011

In the last few years I have been involved with the Jason’s Hogfan Party. Jason’s Hogfan Party is really a fundraiser for leukemia and lymphoma. Jason Gould was a teacher and a huge fan of the University of Arkansas teams. Fans like this are called Hogfans.

Jason was diagnosed with acute leukemia in May of 2003. He responded well to chemotherapy and went into remission. He was told that in 80 percent of cases this type of leukemia will not come back. Unfortunately, he was in the unlucky 20 percent. But he enjoyed over a year of remission before it returned. He was told that his best chance for survival was a transplant. Jason had the baby cord stem cell transplant in May of 2005. He had some pretty scary infections, but was doing great and told he could resume his life. Unfortunately, he had developed a rare viral complication that was treated too late. Jason’s adventure in this life was over.

I only had the pleasure to meet Jason one time, when I went to a fundraiser with Tracy and met him through his mother, Sandy. But, when the first Hogfan party was initiated, Tracy and I were there. While there, sitting in the crowd with many others, something came over me, watching, wondering why I wasn’t doing more than just sitting there.

What did I do? I got up and started emceeing the event. I wanted to do something and not knowing Jason personally, I thought this was the best I could do. I know it is hard to ask people for money, no matter what the cause. I have the gift of gab and have no problem asking for money, especially for a cause such as this.

Maybe there was a reason for me doing this, maybe someone more powerful than you or I had me do this. I say this because just this year, two very special people that mean a lot to me have been diagnosed with lymphoma. One is a young man who has become very close to Tracy and me; we consider him as part of our family. The other is an old high school friend. You know that friend, the one that you were very close to in school, but drift apart through age and time. But when you see them, it is like time has never passed. For this, I personally dedicate this year’s Hogfan party to them and pray they both heal quickly.

I have no doubt that you have someone in your life that is affected with some type of cancer. I hope you will help support me any way you can. Please join Tracy and me Saturday, Sept. 10, between 4 and 10 p.m. Adults cost $25, children cost $10, and children under 7 are free. All proceeds of Jason’s Hogfan Party will go to Ohio State University’s Cancer Research Center. Visit www.friendsofjasongould.com.

Kevin Williams