The Choose Hope campaign was announced on the Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation of Canada website in early August this year. The donations made in the month of September were going to research. They were encouraging us to do a fundraiser on our own and challenging others to do the same. Also September was Blood Cancer Month and the 15th of September was World Lymphoma Awareness Day.
I was diagnosed with WM in early 2011. I was on watch and wait for several years. As my hemoglobin level dropped and more symptoms appeared I knew that I would need treatment. In the fall of 2014 I received six rounds of Bendamustine and Rituxan. Since I was first diagnosed I have been attending support group meetings in Oakville. These meetings lead by Arlene Hinchcliffe and attended by many well informed WMers was invaluable to me and eventually I became a member of the board.
With all that has happened I thought that I really wanted to help but what to do was the question. The neighbourhood I live in has an annual street garage sale that I help organize in the month of June. One of the neighbours thought that it would be great to try to have a second one in the fall (September 16th). That’s it – I knew what to do! I could participate in the street sale and the money collected from sales at my house would be donated to WMFC. Plus it was in September (Blood Cancer Month) and close to the actual date of World Lymphoma Awareness Day. I made some signs to explain what I was doing and even had some green key chains (lymphoma symbol) and WMFC pamphlets to give to those who donated.
To get more interesting items I sent out an email to my friends and families to tell them about the event and all that was happening in September. I also asked if they would like to donate items to the sale (they could declutter) which quite a few did!! I received household items, purses, patio umbrella and stand, garden statues and many tools which sold very quickly. Some of my friends even came out to help on the day of the street sale. The weather was beautiful and it was a great day for everyone. I raised $200 for WMFC. It was not a difficult task to do and I can see myself doing a small fundraiser on my own again. Family and friends are already collecting items to donate to the sale next year. Maybe this is something you would like to try and at the same time help those who have this rare blood cancer. CHOOSE HOPE!! You can make a difference!