The “Thank Yous” that I need to give are long overdue. As Lolo began this fight back on 12/12/12, I wrote a blog on Caringbridge and I began to hear from countless families going through similar tragedies. They were inspired by Lauren. They were encouraged by my honesty telling our family’s story about how heartbreaking these fights are. I also heard from adults and their own fights with cancer, drug abuse, or divorce. I heard from people that for some reason or another rallied behind Lauren. This experience changed us as a family. We will never be the same.
We thought it was all over until on 3/14/16, we found out that Lolo’s leukemia was back. She went into the hospital for the first time to be told by her doctors on 3/15 that her leukemia was back. We began the fight all over again. Those three years that we had as a family seem like a blur. During that time our priorities changed and we grew closer and more determined to live the life we were ought to live. There is so much meaning in that statement. It was a “call to water” for me. It was a call to action to serve, mainly my family, my child, and learn through her suffering that we all have a purpose.
There is suffering all around us everyday. This last month, our community of Omaha has had deep, gut-wrenching loss. We lost little Lane and baby Aspen. Then shortly after, we lost Emma and Anna Jane. Throughout all of that, Lauren has been so sick and fighting hard to finally rid her body of leukemia and get to go back and be a teenager. In the press, we hear of violence, racism, and how the world does not care about each other anymore. This is just not true. We are turning in the wrong direction. Our city has wrapped their arms tight around the families that have lost their dear children in the last month. I know our city, my parish, my neighborhood, and friends from all over the country have held my sweet child in your prayers and in your hearts. In addition, you have answered the call to help others by hosting bone marrow drives. I want to thank all of the people that have helped in this way. It is heartwarming. It is heroic. You will save lives by this work. It is just one example about how loving and good our world can be. We are all being called.
Thank you to the following people for hosting drives. The number in parenthesis tells how many people were registered. Remember, the number does increase our chances to find matches for people. However, just one match might be the one that saves a life. Each and every person registered makes a difference.
Click to View Donor Drive Details
Nebraska Science Fesitival “Swab for Lauren” on 4/23/2016 (14)
Thank you to: Victoria Kohout-friend of mine from Field Club
Prairie Life Fitness “Lauren Hacker” 4/11/2016 (109)
Thank you to: Brent Pyle-our favorite athletic trainer ever!
Omelet Feed fundraiser for Childhood Cancer Research 4/24/2016 ( 44)
Thank you to: Jenni DeWitt-family friend & mom of Cooper (ALL survivor)
Kicks for a Cure 4/22/2016 (61)
Thank you to: Kicks for a Cure/friend Amy Lindsey SMM parishioner
St. Margaret Mary’s School 4/29/2016 (140)
Thank you to St. Margaret Mary’s School/Sheri Vollmer & Molly Atherton
St. Margaret Mary’s Circle 3 4/21/2016 (17)
Thank you to St. Margaret Mary’s Circle 3
Duchesne Academy “Let’s Go for LoLo” 5/13/2016 (56)
Thank you to: Sara Wachter-head of Duchesne Preschool where Hacker kids went to school
Gretna Middle School 5/14/2016 (55) Gretna Middle School
Thank you to: Michelle Shurtliff & NE Elite Volleyball
Dicount Tire Swab for LoLo 5/14/2016 (4)
Thank you to: Roberta Piccone-Minjarez-high school friend of LesLee’s now in El Paso, Texas
St. Robert Bellarmine 5/7/2016 (59) @ St.Robert Bellarmine Church/School Cafeteria
Thank you to: Michelle Tjardes & St. Robert Bellarmine community (friend & parish where I worked when Lolo got sick
University of Nebraska Lincoln – Alpha Omicron Pi-Zeta 4/28/2016 ( 22)
Thank you to: Taylor Anderson ( my former student)
Creighton Prep Bone Marrow Drive in honor of Lauren Hacker 5/23/2016 (20) Creighton Prep
Thank you to: Dave Lawlor & Jim Swanson and the Creighton Prep community
In addition, yesterday, on July 12th, Great Plain, Inc. had the following bone marrow drives in the following cities:
Green Plains Bone Marrow Donor Drive
Omaha 7/12/2016 8:00 Forsen Sasha
Atkinson 7/12/2016 11:00 Klinger Cheslee
Bluffton 7/12/2016 11:00 Sark Rick
Central City 7/12/2016 11:00 Clausen Tori
Lakota 7/12/2016 11:00 Grimm Abbie
Obion 7/12/2016 11:00 Aikers Angela
Ord 7/12/2016 11:00 Kokes Kaelen
Wood River 7/12/2016 11:00 Most Chris
Supreme Cattle Feeders 7/12/2016 11:00 Call Bobi
Fairmont 7/12/2016 11:00 Hasek Christine
Hereford 7/12/2016 11:00 Bravo Jessica
Hopewell 7/12/2016 11:00 Harrison Mary
Otter Tail 7/12/2016 11:00 Hicks Anthony
After doing a little research I found out why this company made the bold move to host bone marrow drives in 9 states. I will share the email that their company’s CEO, Todd Becker, sent to me. Please take the time to view the inspiring video his company prepared about bone marrow drives. I am hoping that it inspires other businesses to commit to doing a bone marrow drive and/or blood drive once a year. So far, because of Lolo over 1,000 people have been added to the bone marrow registry. We have worked through Delete Blood Cancer. Carol is our contact person. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is fast and efficient and would be glad to add you to the number of bone marrow drives being done. If in the 3 months that Lolo has been fighting, we can get 1,000 people registered, don’t you think in one year, we could get 5,000 people? Let’s make that our goal!!! If I could get 10 good-sized companies in Omaha to bone marrow drives, we could really make a difference. If you know anyone in a fraternity or sorority or sport’s team at a local college, these are our best chances. Young, strong people are the best donors.
I know you are busy taking care of your daughter but I wanted to write you a quick note to tell you the results of our bone marrow drive at Green Plains. To give you background, Green Plains has approx. 1000 employees across the country. With that said, we were told by DKMS to expect between 10 and 20% of our workforce to participate. We are extending the drive through the end of the week for employees that wanted to participate but were not working yesterday. We had 438 donations yesterday!! Your story, and the other SMM kids who are battling as well, truly gave us the motivation to run the program across our company. We even had an employee who came forward with their own story of how a bone marrow transplant saved his life. Sasha, who initially contacted you, took hold of this project and worked very hard on your behalf to make this happen. In addition, some of the local health systems in these small communities have approached us to have their own drives at the local health fairs that they hold. I am not sure if you saw the video we produced so I attached the link below. The video is on our Facebook page.
The credit is all yours. Our job was easy.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with you.