This is my friend and colleague, Peggy. Her eldest son, Jake, was away at college when he went to the doctor about a cold that he couldn't shake. Blood taken, tests run, and a life altering diagnosis given. Jake had Fanconi Amenia, a genetic disease of the blood. He would need a bone marrow transplant.
First stop, the sibling brothers. And an answer to prayers. Her youngest son, Spencer, was a perfect match. And then, the sky fell again. Further testing revealed that Spencer also had Fanconi Anemia. (Spencer is currently attends college and so far he is stabilized with the disease).
The months ahead were a roller coaster ride no family should have to take. A bone marrow donor was eventually found. Jake received the transplant but complications ensued. Jake passed from this world in November 2003.
Peggy is one of my heroes. Her dedication and commitment to finding a cure for FA is inspiring. The first spring without Jake, Peggy organized an benefit dinner and auction. It raised well over a hundred thousand dollars.
And then another idea came to her. Jake loved to run and why not create a running event in his memory. Thus the Valentine's Day 5K was born in 2005. It happens the Sunday before Valentine's Day. The run is growing up. This year, Peggy garnered major sponsors for the run. And this year the donations grew by a third from last year. Early totals show that over $31,000 was raised for research.
Valentine's Day was yesterday. Many of our staff wore the red shirts from this year's run in honor of Peggy and all her hard work.
For further information, here are some websites to check out: