Country Faces Cancer

Light The Night

Country Faces Cancer (CFC) is an industry-wide effort led by Great American Country's Nan Kelley, a proud lymphoma survivor, to help raise awareness and support for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through its Light The Night Walk.

Country music fans in partnership with their favorite country artist will raise funds to make a difference in the lives of thousands of patients and their families!

Leukemia is a malignant disease (cancer) of the bone marrow and blood. It is characterized by the uncontrolled accumulation of blood cells. Leukemia is divided into four categories: myelogenous or lymphocytic, each of which can be acute or chronic. The terms myelogenous or lymphocytic denote the cell type involved. The are four major types of leukemia.

Lymphoma is the name for a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) are the two main types of lymphoma.

Lymphoma originates in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the body's immune system, which is the body's defense against infection. The marrow and lymphocytes are part of the immune system. Some other parts of the immune system are the lymph nodes, the lymphatic vessels and the spleen.

Lymphoma starts with a change to a lymphocyte. The change to the lymphocyte causes it to become a lymphoma cell. The lymphoma cells pile up and form masses that gather in the lymph nodes or other parts of the lymphatic system.

In 2009, about 601,180 people are living with lymphoma or are in remission. This number includes about 148,460 people with Hodgkin lymphoma and about 452,720 people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

In 2007 my brother-in-law, Paul A. Adams of Pocasset, MA became one of the statistics of Lymphoma. He fought a long and courageous battle with the disease that started as a simple rash. Ironically, it was not actually the Lymphoma that claimed his life, but host-graft disease which was the result of his stem-cell replacement treatment. That treatment in fact defeated the cancer, but the rest of his body rejected the new cells.

A series of events followed Paul’s passing, a story much too long to tell in this article, but it resulted in my writing a song called “Messages From Heaven”. This song is a tribute to Paul and his family. In 2009 I had a life-time dream of performing in Nashville (at the Nashville Palace) fulfilled. It was at that time that I performed the song for the very first time. In attendance was Paul’s wife Cindy.

She had traveled with me, my wife and twelve other friends and family to support me and my dream, just as she had supported Paul throughout his battle with Lymphoma.

It was then that I decided that when I recorded the song that I would donate its proceeds to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Paul’s memory.
The CD costs $5 and may be purchased from:

Country music leaders already committed to the effort:

- Blake Shelton
- Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
- Great American Country
- Little Big Town
- Luke Bryan
- Nan Kelley
- The Grand Ole Opry

Each year, in communities all across the United States and Canada teams of families, friends, co-workers and local and national corporations come together to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS's) Light The Night Walk events and bring help and hope to people battling blood cancers.

Every Light The Night walker is encouraged to become a Champion For Cures by raising $100 or more to help fight blood cancer.
Funds raised by teams and individual walkers provide:
- Lifesaving blood cancer research - Free educational materials and events for patients and their families -Local programs such as Family Support Groups and First Connection, a peer-to-peer counseling program - Comprehensive, personalized assistance through our - Information Resource Center
Light The Night Walk events are evenings filled with inspiration. During this leisurely walk, walkers carry illuminated balloons - white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of loved ones lost to cancer - thousands of walkers - men, women and children - form a community of caring, bringing light to the dark world of cancer.

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