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Annapolis Leukemia Cup Regatta open to the public

The annual Annapolis Leukemia Cup Regatta Cup, presented by SunTrust Bank, is being held over the weekend of 1st and 2nd June in Annapolis, Maryland announced The Maryland Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society today.

Celebrating its 20th year, the Annapolis Leukemia Cup Regatta is a thrilling event that started in Annapolis and has spread to sailing communities across the country! The Regatta combines the exhilaration of competitive sailing with the important goal of raising money to fight blood cancers.

John Dodge, chairman of Regatta stated, 'The Annapolis Leukemia Cup allows the entire community, whether you are a sailor, a power boater, or someone who wants to make a difference, the opportunity to collectively raise funds in order to support research so that we can find a cure for blood related cancers and save lives. Click here to find out how you can make a difference.' Teva Oncology is committed to the research and development of treatment options directed at hematologic malignancies like Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CCL) and Non Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL).

The weekend kicks-off with a Seersucker and Linen Summer Gala and Auction Friday, June 1 from 6:30pm – 9:00pm at the Annapolis Yacht Club. The public is invited to attend with a donation of $85 per person ($35 deductable). Summer cocktails, wine, beer, elegant hors d’oeuvres, entertainment by Orlando Phillips and a live and silent auction will highlight the evening.

Live auction items include:

• Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to sail with Artemis skipper Terry Hutchinson and rest of the Artemis America’s Cup Team in Newport, RI during the AC45 World Series. Travel and lodging in Newport included in the package.
• A seven day/six night bareboat charter aboard a Moorings 40’ Club monohull in the British Virgin Islands
• Three Nights in Manhattan at the Manhattan Club.

The Summer Gala is honored to have as a guest speaker, Patrick Brown, MD, Director of Pediatric Leukemia at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Brown is the oncologist for two of the Regatta‘s honored patients, Sam and Sarah, and will be speaking about the cutting edge LLS funded research he is currently leading at Hopkins. Dr. Brown’s research is focused on developing novel, molecularly-targeted treatments for children and adolescents with leukemia. His efforts to develop targeted therapy for childhood leukemia are funded in large part by LLS through a Translational Research Program Grant and a Scholar in Clinical Research Award.

The Leukemia Cup Regatta and Predicted Log Race for cruisers begin the following with a rendezvous at 10:00am, concluding with a post-race Crew Party from 4:00pm-7:00pm at the Eastport Yacht Club featuring The Matt McConville Band. The Regatta will feature more than 100 entrants. Members of the community are invited to attend both fundraising events!

On the day of the regatta, families of children with blood cancers will participate in a 'J80 Fun Race for the Kids', where families can take their minds off the disease for a few hours and enjoy time on the water. National Chair Leukemia Cup Regatta Chairman, and pre-eminent ambassador for sailing in the U.S. (and former America’s Cup Winner), Gary Jobson will act as 'floating' tactician, moving from boat-to-boat for the Kid’s Race. Crystalooney’s Creative Arts will be on hand for face-painting.

Since its inception, Leukemia Cup Regattas throughout the country have raised over $33 million to support the mission of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Tickets to the Summer Gala are $85 each Tickets to the Crew Party are $35. They can be purchased by calling: 443.471.1608.

About our Honorary Skippers:
Sam Pratt’s Leukemia Story
Hi, my name is Sam, short for Samantha, and I turn 6 on December 12th. What a couple of years it has been for me and my family! It all started when I got very sick in January 2009. I had a high fever that lasted for over a week and had to spend a few nights in the hospital. After a couple of weeks of checking my blood counts my doctor took a look at my bone marrow and figured out why my blood counts just weren’t getting any better. I have Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL).

My parents heard my diagnosis on February 20, 2009 and that same day I was checked into Pediatric Oncology at Johns Hopkins to begin my treatment. I spent over 2 years enduring daily chemotherapy and fighting through some very difficult challenges including seizures, blood infections, skin rashes, being unable to walk, losing all of my hair and struggling with constant illnesses. The great news is that on April 27, 2011, I took my final dose of chemotherapy and am now considered in remission! I see my doctors every month to make sure that my Leukemia stays away and so far all of my results are great.

Through everything, I have remained a happy little girl full of fight! There is nothing that can keep me down! I love going to school, dancing, swimming, making pictures for my friends and family and of course boating.
My parent’s dream for me is to live a long, happy and cancer free life. The Leukemia Lymphoma Society does many wonderful things to support families and patients that are dealing with a blood cancer including funding research to help my parent’s dream come true. Thank you for supporting this event and LLS.
Jeff Goldring’s Lymphoma Story

Just after the 1993 New Year, I went for my yearly physical. I was feeling pretty good but perhaps a little bit off – nothing I could put my finger on. During the course of the exam, my doctor, Howard Goldstein, found a substantial lump in my abdomen. With further examination he thought that a lymph node in my neck looked larger than it should. He sent me directly to a surgeon, Steve Hiltabidle, who popped that node out in seconds with me hardly noticing. The pathology was 'inconclusive'. So, a week or so later it was off to the hospital for a surgical biopsy through my belly button. I was released the next day. The pathology came back no doubt about it – Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma stage 3 or 4 (I forgot). Dr. Goldstein set me up with oncologist Dr. Selonick who teaches one day a week at Johns Hopkins and plays classical guitar. We met, and he outlined a course of treatment.

Seeking a second opinion, all paths led to Dr. Arnold Freedman at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (part of Harvard) in Boston. Carol and I hopped on a plane for Boston. Dana Farber was an amazing experience. From the time we walked in the door, it seemed as though they had rolled out the red carpet for us. We brought a tape recorder since we knew we wouldn’t retain all that was said and got permission to record the session with Dr. Freedman. It was like he had nothing else in the world to do – our time was his time and we had a 3½-hour meeting where he examined all my records and thoroughly described all the options. He confirmed that Dr. Selonick’s path was right but also suggested a radioactive Gallium indicator test that is not used in the Annapolis area. The test was not a 100% guarantee since it depended on the cancer cells having an affinity to absorb. If they did, the lesion(s) would light up like a light bulb with the scan. Therefore you could track the size during treatment and determine at the end of treatment if it was gone. It wasn’t till years later that the PET Scan was developed and is the current standard thanks to continuing research.

The next six weeks were the most agonizing for me and my family. Finally, I started chemotherapy in February. My last chemo treatment was in August. I continued to swim laps and ice skate two or three times a week. In September, I had my last radioactive Gallium scan and it was clear. The news came just in time for my birthday in early October. What better present! In all, including the trip to Dana Farber, surgery, scans and chemo, I missed only 11 days of work I was very lucky. The whole process was very easy for me although I wouldn’t choose to do it again. Now I have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than contracting Lymphoma again.

Sarah McMahon Leukemia Story
After wrapping up the 2011 school year, my mom just finished her radiation for breast cancer in June, my grandfather passed away April 5th and we went to Hawaii.

When we came back from Hawaii I got my boating license, my scuba diving license and began to work at Watermark Cruises in Downtown Annapolis but when I started to have irregular cycles, I started to worry, so we went to the doctors and I was put on a birth control pill to regulate me (September 1st).

School was starting up again and I started feeling tired and weak, which I blamed on school, work, and theater. On one specific work day, a Saturday, on the Harbor Queen (my favorite cruise) I started getting a sore throat and everything hurt. I was developing a cold. After a week, I started having nausea in the mornings and didn’t have an appetite. I also had the occasional dizzy spell. My doctor said to see if I went off the pill for that week and I had less nausea then I would know if the pill was causing it or not. My neck and back began to ache.

I had trouble walking up our three flights of stairs. I started to get scared. On the 16th of September there was the homecoming football game and it was raining buckets. I decided not to go and didn't want my cold to get any worse. On Saturday the 17th, I pulled myself out of bed to for breakfast but got dizzy and ended up on the kitchen floor. We decided to go to the doctor. I was examined and wanted to give me Albuterol but one of the side effects was rapid heartbeat, which I already have so we decided against that one. She told us to get a nedi pot, cough medicine, and a decongestant. My doctor said I had a virus and shouldn't go to work the next day.

On Sunday, when my mom got home from work that night she noticed multiple bruises on my legs. On Monday morning I thought I felt well enough to go to school, I had no fever that morning so I thought it would be alright. I proceeded to get myself ready for school and was heading for the bathroom when I felt another dizzy spell and slumped on the bathroom floor in my mom’s arms.

That’s when we called the doctor and they told us to go to the ER because they thought it was related to my heart condition I was diagnosed with last year. They did and blood test and an EKG which was fine, but my blood test came back 'wacky' as they said. They did a second one to make sure. And they took my parents out of the room to chat, which is never a good sign. My dad put it all together before the doctor told us that I had Leukemia.

This event benefits the Maryland Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, whose mission is to cure blood cancers and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The 20th Anniversary Regatta, represents an amazing milestone and is a testament to the Annapolis Sailing - and non-sailing – community!

Leukemia Cup Regatta website


by Beth Prensky

  

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