Friday, May 27, 2016

Volunteer Spotlight: Kendall Childers

Kendall Childers is a key volunteer leader in organizing this September's 11th Annual North Texas Blood Cancer Conference and inaugural NTX Cancer Expo.  She wears many hats but her key focus is on creating a seamless registration process for conference and expo participants and volunteers.  Kendall has also held two very successful third party fundraising events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  Below she explains why she dedicates her time to our organization:

"My paternal grandfather had leukemia for almost all of my childhood. He fought hard for 13 years and passed away the summer after I turned 21.  I have almost no memories of him without cancer, and my younger brother has none.

I remember exactly where I was when my parents sat us down to tell us the Poppa Tubby was sick. It was surreal. I remember hearing good news and bad news, visiting him in the hospital, visiting him at home and watching him hide some of his pills in the ottoman cushion because he had to take so many. What I remember most was that no matter what he always had a smile on his face and he always wanted to talk about his grandkids and what was going on in our life.

Cancer made him weaker than he was before and it took away his ability to play a full round of golf, but it never once took his spirit. His doctor told him to stop drinking so he switched to singles instead of doubles, maybe not the best thing, but it was his way of holding on to normalcy, his way of saying cancer can have my body but it can't have my mind. Poppa Tubby was my hero, he quickly became the strongest, most brave man I knew, and still is in my eyes today.

He got almost all of his treatment at the City of Hope in California and told his doctors to make him a guinea pig. He was open to any new experimental treatment he could qualify for and for several of those he was the only or one of only a handful that made it through treatment. I think that spirit is what attracted me most to LLS. The amount of money the organization dedicates to research is amazing and it's that research that allowed my grandpa to make it to my high school graduation and buy me a legal drink (two goals he set for himself). Someday is today...this speaks to me because I want more than ever for there to be a day where no one else has to lose their hero."

Registration for the North Texas Blood Cancer Conference and Cancer Expo will open later this month.  Both events are full of pertinent information to ALL cancer patients, survivors caregivers, nurses and social workers.  The events are free but registration is required.  Learn more about both events and the topics that will be covered here. 

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