A letter from Todd Dunivant
Bored of receptions, dinners, and cocktail parties? Tired of luncheons, brunches, and afternoon teas? Well, the committee to elect Luke Dunivant as the 2004 Man of Year is pleased to NOT invite you to a party in his honor. We cannot afford it because we need every penny for something else, something very important.
In conjunction with the San Jose Earthquakes, I am pleased to be involved with a fundraising campaign to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of my courageous brother Luke Dunivant. The LLS Man and Woman of the Year campaign generates over $5 million annually and features the top fundraiser on billboards and movie theatre ads in Silicon Valley. In the summer of 2001, our lives were turned upside down when Luke was diagnosed with acute leukemia and required an immediate bone marrow transplant.
You can never be prepared for something like this. The words hit you like a sack of jagged rocks: "It's cancer." You feel helpless. You feel angry. You wish you could take his place. But everyone can help in his or her own way. Luke and I are a perfect bone marrow match, which allowed for an immediate transplant. He endured a vicious dose of chemotherapy and radiation to remove the cancer from his bone marrow and bloodstream.
He spent nearly half a year stranded in bed, his muscles shriveling away. The two weeks following the transplant were indescribable. Losing his hair and eyebrows were the least of his problems. He couldn't swallow without incredible pain; he couldn't eat without feeling nauseous; he couldn't walk without assistance; I.V. lines kept him alive; but with my parents at his side he never faltered and never gave up. After four hard fought months at the City of Hope Hospital in Los Angeles, Luke finally came home.
But the cancer wouldn't go without a fight. It returned a year later and Luke had to go through it all again: the chemo, the radiation, the hospital bed, the I.V. tube lodged in his chest, the suffering, the fear that the transplant might not be enough. The nightmare began all over, but Luke gritted his teeth and went to battle yet again, doing so without complaint and with more courage and fight than ever seemed possible. One transplant and two life-threatening surgeries later, Luke fought off the cancer once more. He is back teaching high school but continues his fight toward a full recovery, if there is such a thing with cancer.
It's been said a million times in a million different ways, but you never think it could happen to you or someone so close to you. But when it does, time stops. Your life is put on hold. You no longer have control. That is why this cause is so important; because this disease could affect you or someone you love at any time. It's that powerful. And it's that random.
So please, do not come to our party. But please, do contribute. Your support will directly fund the effort to alleviate and eventually eliminate a disease that has affected so many lives. Please send your tax-deductible checks to the address below by June 20th and help elect Luke Dunivant as the 2004 Man of the Year.
Thank you for your support,
Please make checks payable to:
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
c/o San Jose Earthquakes
100 North Almaden Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110
Or, Donate using your credit card at: