Thursday, June 12, 2014

Celebrating Fathers: Steve Gunner

"Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad."
- Anne Geddes

The North Texas Chapter is fortunate to have the support of a number of fathers who have a personal connection to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) mission and share our drive to create a world without blood cancers.  Today we are pleased to introduce to you Steve Gunner.  He works relentlessly on behalf of LLS through our Light The Night Walk and Links Fore Leukemia Golf Tournament.  Read why below. 

What is your connection to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and its mission?
My connection is through my son, Nick Gunner, who fought Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) for almost two years.  After being diagnosed in June 2011 Nick underwent two stem cell transplant.  The first in November 2011 used his own stem cells and he was in remission for 10 months.  The second was with an unrelated donor in February 2013.  Nick fought for two months but his bone marrow could not recover and he passed away on April 14, 2013.

What motivates you to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society?
The memory of Nick.  My son was an amazing person and he lived life to the fullest.  He was a kind and generous person.  I know some of the things he did have inspired others to change the way they look at life and other people.  I will continue to honor him through my support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's mission.

How has The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society helped you throughout your family's journey with blood cancer?
The people I have met through my connection with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society have become friends and have helped myself and my family through the tough times, both while Nick was fighting and after he passed away.  Not just those who work at LLS but also the people we have met who were also touched by blood cancers.  Seeing and hearing these strong people relate their personal story or connection helped us to deal with our loss.  I will never be able to fully accept it, and I think about Nick every day, but that motivates me to continue to support the efforts of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

What advice would you give to another family with a loved one that's been diagnosed?
I was surprised at how many other people were either touched by or dealing with similar blood cancer issues.  It helps to know that you're not alone and to know that others are praying and supporting you, your family and those stricken by the illness.

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