|Greg and his son, Ryan, volunteering the |
morning of the 2013 Big D Climb
Greg Clarkson, President of the North Texas Board of Trustees, shares in his own words why he is involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
We are all called to volunteer at some time during our lives. I urge you to answer the calling. It is an opportunity to use your talents and resources in a way that helps your neighbor, your community, or a stranger in need. My calling was to the North Texas Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). I am finishing my sixth year as a member of the Board of Trustees and serving my final year as President of the Board. As I make the transition from an active Board member to the Advisory Board, I have taken a moment to reflect on how I became involved with the Society and it's mission to cure blood cancer.
I have not personally had the pain of losing a family member to blood cancer or any cancer for that matter. Prior to becoming a Board member, I did not know anyone that had leukemia or lymphoma nor did I even know that these were afflictions of the blood. I didn't spend much time in hospitals or around doctors or sick people. I am in the banking industry and manage a nationwide small business lending unit for BBVA Compass in Dallas Texas. Our bank used LLS' Light the Night function as our annual employee participation event. This gave our employees a chance to raise money for a charitable cause while remembering friends and family members that had been impacted by the disease. We would all gather with other fundraisers during an October evening and literally Light the Night with glowing balloons honoring those who have fought the cancer fight. This is how it started for me.
After meeting the LLS staff at the North Texas Chapter I knew that these were the people that had the energy and the desire to tirelessly fundraise, educate, and work for the cause. After meeting the scientists and doctors, I knew that this was the cutting edge research at the headwaters of all cancer breakthroughs. This is a disease that can attack anybody at anytime. There is no early warning, no lifestyle change, no preventive maintenance. There is only the need for a cure. So, we volunteers reach out to our friends, family, co-workers, customers, and communities, to help us raise funds for research and a cure. We ask for time, we ask for money, we ask for donation items, or we ask for a moment to tell you about someone that has touched our lives. If not by their name, at least by the way we remember the expression on their face as they traveled on their cancer journey.
During my tenure, I have seen things that would make your hair stand up on end and I have seen things that would make your hair fall out. I have seen the hair grow back and the smiles return. I have seen life renewed and living regained. I have seen the dedication and selflessness of healthcare workers, volunteers, fundraisers, researchers, and legislative advocates. I have seen family and friends, young and old, search for the words to answer the question "why me?". I volunteered to fill a need and that need remains great.
If you feel it is time to volunteer, don't wait any longer. Even if you have not been personally impacted by blood cancer or fear you cannot make a difference, I can assure you that your efforts will be honored. It is the most rewarding thing you will experience. So take the first step and give T
This month The Dallas Morning News ran an article about a breakthrough treatment that cured a particularly nasty form of leukemia in a few patients. The article was a reminder that everyday somebody is being cured of blood cancer. Someday, everybody will be cured of blood cancer. Let's make that someday, today.