Local Staff Contacts
White Plains, NY 10605
Meet the Westchester Hudson Valley's Honored Heroes!
An honored hero is a local blood cancer patient who is either going through or has gone through treatment. They are the faces of our mission and the motivation for all the hard work we do. They are inspiration to us all!
Sammy- Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Sammy was just five years old and two days into kindergarten when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He had been experiencing severe heart and chest pains that week, so his parents took him to the doctor. Soon they discovered he had very large mass of cells pressing on his heart and filling his chest cavity. Sammy also had a dangerously high white blood cell count. After further testing, he was quickly diagnosed with High Risk T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and was admitted to the Children's Hospital at Montefiore for treatment. After one month of extremely intense chemotherapy and eight days of radiation, Sammy went into remission. Due to Sammy's high risk diagnosis, he continued to receive an intense combination of chemotherapy medications both orally and through a port in his chest during the maintenance phase of his treatment. In addition, he took steroids and antibiotics.
Sammy was home-schooled for his kindergarten year due to his weakened immune system. He is happy to be back in school and is now a big second grader. He is six months post-treatment and is doing very well. Unfortunately, the chemo wiped out his immune system so he is now facing ALL of his immunizations again! He recently completed many months of Physical Therapy to strengthen his muscles and bone mass.
Sammy has grown his hair back and is an active swimmer. His parents teach at Prospect Hill School in Pelham, where he and his ten-year-old brother Jack are students. Sammy was a Light The Night Honored Patient, and is excited to be the Honored Teammate for the Marathon Teams!
Andy- Non-Hodgkins Follicular Lymphoma
In spring 2001, Andrew Fredman felt a lump under his left shoulder. Some weeks later (and the week before his daughter?s Bat Mitzvah), his normally serene life was transformed by a diagnosis of non-hodgkins follicular lymphoma, a slow growing cancer by definition for which there is still to this day, no known "cure". Now some 11 years later, he is at a point in his life that he never would have suspected. Fredman?s cancer diagnosis did not adversely affect his own architectural practice in New York City and Westchester, where his work involves health care, residential and commercial projects throughout the tri state area. In fact, his interest and considerable expertise in health care projects is directly related to his passion for patient comfort and the efficient and caring conveyance of medical services which grew out of his own experiences. Fredman has used the cancer to find some unknown inner source of strength which, though unexpected, has provided him with peace, empowerment and direction. He has learned to appreciate fully the important things in life. He is blessed with professional satisfaction, a giving and spiritual community, scores of caring and committed friends, and most importantly, a truly loving family. Fredman has been married for 30 years to Susan Leon, a TNT participant in half marathons herself. They have two children, Josh (aged 27 who has participated in several Lake Tahoe bike rides), and Ali (aged 24 who plans to participate in a TNT marathon in the near future).
John- Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Hi, I am John Kissam , I am 56 years old and a 5 year survivor of Hodgkins Lymphoma. My journey with blood cancer begins on Dec 11th 2006?I was officially informed that I had Hodgkins Lymphoma. And I was thrilled ........ No seriously I was! I had just spent the last few days gathering information on blood cancer from the internet and I had learned about The Leukemia Lymphoma Society and that the funds raised for research and clinical trials 25 years ago had helped more than triple a Hodgkins patient chances of survival from a dismal 25% to a very optimistic 80% for me. And that this type of blood cancer is possibly even curable. How Awesome is that! My treatment plan included 12 chemotherapy treatments, one month off for good behavior and then 17 radiation treatments. A plan that had Awesome results! I could easily spent an hour or two telling you what LLS has done and continues to do for me, my family, and what they do for all blood cancer patients everyday. If I was asked to describe what LLS gives blood cancer patients in one word it would be ........ HOPE.
I was sent this card a few weeks ago. "Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope. one can think, one can work, one can dream, If you have hope, you have everything." LLS gives all blood cancer patients HOPE.
Anthony- Acute Myeloid Leukemia
After taking a year to get my physical condition in shape, I had spent the entire winter training for the Pawling Sprint Triathlon, and the NYC Olympic Triathlon. I had a great winter filled with snowboarding, running, biking, and swimming. Some time in April, I started to notice my training was hitting a wall. Working out in the gym started to stall, and all my distances started to either pause, or fall off a bit.The week before my sprint triathlon, my sister convinced me to move up a physical I had scheduled later that month, and had me get my blood work done the Wednesday before my first ever triathlon. After some panicked phone calls, some disbelieving doctors (after hearing I rode my bike for 14 miles the day before my first blood test, the doctor said "There must have been a lab error, no way you could ride that far with a hemoglobin of 5"), a hospital visit, and a bone marrow biopsy, that Friday, June 1st, I was unofficially (but kind of officially) diagnosed with leukemia. I was admitted to NY Presbyterian that Monday, where the tests were repeated, confirmed, and the diagnosis was narrowed down to Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
So far, I've gone through one successful induction chemotherapy, and one round of consolidation. The plan for the future is currently up in the air (either more chemo, or a bone marrow transplant), as I fit into the unfortunate "intermediate" risk group where there isn't a particularly clear choice for treatment options. Aside from that, I'm continuing to bike and lift and live my life as much as I can, while working around the restraints of repeated hospital visits and multiple tests and the general nonsense of being a cancer patient. I maintain a blog (http://effleukemia.com/ ) where I talk about what I'm going through, and I've generally tried to be open and honest about what it's like being diagnosed at the ripe old age of 27. I hope that my story can help someone, somewhere, in some way. If I have to suffer, at least let my suffering help somebody else suffer less.
If you or a loved one would like to be an Honored Hero
please contact Jincy at email@example.com or (914) 821-8269