We R the Cure

Seeking Cures and Cheating Destiny

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November is National Marrow Awareness Month; Register to be a Donor and Become Someone’s Cure

November is National Marrow Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time for you to consider becoming a donor. Volunteers are needed to become marrow donors and to join the National Marrow Donor Registry.

Research in Bone Marrow Transplants is happening at VCU Massey Cancer Center

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Research at VCU Massey Cancer Center in Richmond is discovering new therapies for blood cancers, including vast improvements in the bone marrow transplant process that have led to safer transplants and have made transplants possible for more patients.

Patients with diseases such as hematologic malignancies (blood cancers) like leukemias, lymphomas and multiple myeloma sometimes need a bone marrow transplant (BMT). Bone marrow is the spongy material that is found inside the bones. In the marrow are stem cells. In some transplants, the patient’s own stem cells are harvested (removed from the blood) and given back to the patient after the patient receives high doses of chemotherapy and occasionally radiation therapy. In other cases, however, the patient needs to have a donor provide the stem cells. The donor can be a relative (related donor) or someone unknown to the patient (unrelated donor).

Seventy percent of bone marrow patients do not have a matching donor in their family. So the more volunteers in the Registry, the greater the chance of finding a matching donor, and the more patients who can be offered the potential for longer, healthier lives.

Article content courtesy of VCU Massey Cancer Center


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Announcing The Kathryn Thompson Leckie Scholarship Fund at Virginia Tech; We Will Rally For “Front Page Kate”

Good News to All: Our first donations are in! The Fund Is Moving Forward.

Kathryn Thompson Leckie and her two sons, John and James

A photo of Kathryn and her two sons, John, standing, and James, kneeling, on the family’s front porch in Frederick, MD. Family and friends have established a scholarship fund in her memory at Virginia Tech.

This is the first of many heartfelt Thank Yous to all donors — for your contributions of time, talent and treasures to the Kathryn Thompson Leckie  Memorial Scholarship Excellence Fund at Virginia Tech.

All donations at all levels are important toward our goal. We will post donor lists frequently as an incentive and encouragement for all to contribute something. Log in to www.givingto.vt.edu or send a check to Virginia Tech Foundation to donate. The Fund # 860705.

And our common goal is clear: To raise the funds necessary ($50,000) in 5 years to establish an annual scholarship that supports excellence in journalism at VT and honors Kathryn’s personal and professional contributions to our lives. This is the beginning of something wonderful. Thank You.

Who was Kathryn Thompson Leckie?

Kathryn was a native of Chester, Va., and she graduated from Virginia Tech in 1983 with a degree in Communications.  She was the Frederick (MD) News-Post’s courts and cops reporter for 17 years.  Her stories routinely landed on the front page, earning her a nickname in the local community as “Front Page Kate.”  She died in February 2012 after a courageous battle against cancer.  Her family and friends have created the Excellence Fund at Virginia Tech

Kathryn and I worked on the Tech student newspaper, The Collegiate Times, and we shared many long and satisfying days practicing journalism at the CT and in our first professional jobs in Charlottesville and Lynchburg, respectively.  Her death was a shock and a reminder that bad things happen to good people everyday, but we must rally through the pain and tears. We must celebrate Kathryn’s life with a positive contribution. Cancer, like diabetes, does not define us. It inspires us all to achieve great things!