Posted at: 09/27/2012 6:13 PM
| Updated at: 09/28/2012 11:21 AM
By: Benita Zahn
Since 1949 the Leukemia and Lymphoma society has raised more than $875,000,000 to fund research leading to treatment, and in the past 24 years that work has paid off with survival rates for blood cancer patients doubling and tripling and in some cases quadrupling.
But the work never ends. Just ask Phong La.
This is not how 26 year old Phong La expected to spend a gorgeous fall day. Accompanied by his sister, he's meeting for the first time with Dr. Todd Doyle, a radiation oncologist who'll map out his course of radiation treatment. That's because Phong is recovering from lymphoma, diagnosed in March.
For two years Phong suffered knee pain. But it wasn't until this past March he got a diagnosis -lymphoma.
“I didn't even know what to say. I didn't know what to think. I thought he was kidding with me. I mean, I'm 26 years old diagnosed with lymphoma in my knee,” said Phong.
Lymphoma usually affects the lymphatic system - In rare cases it affects the soft tissue of the knee. Chemotherapy quickly followed.
The radiation is a sort of insurance card to clean up any cancer cells that might have survived the chemo.
Despite his ordeal, Phong turned his attention to others.
With time on his hands during recovery, and encouraged by friends, he began fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Association. He blasted through his first goal of $5,000, well on his way to raising $10,000.
Phong was lucky. Shortly before his diagnosis a friend encouraged him to get health insurance. Without it, and help from his family, he'd be destitute. In fact, all the money friends donated to him, he's put toward his fundraising goal.
You can help Phong reach his goal and join hundreds of others this Saturday at Siena College for Light the Night.
A big fundraiser sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The event starts at 5:30 p.m.