In October of 2009, Erik Sauer wrote an email to Michele Bresnick Walsh, who he had met at Johns Hopkins Hospital where they were both getting bone marrow transplants to treat their leukemia. In the months that followed, Erik and Michele wanted to give back and help other patients. Here is the email, and the beginning of Hero’s journey to provide hope and nourishment to leukemia patients and their families:
From: Erik Sauer
To: Bresnick, Michele L.
Sent: Fri Oct 09 10:30:42 2009
As most of you know, I was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia in May of 08 which culminated with a bone marrow transplant on November 18, 2008 and my subsequent recovery process. It was a long difficult road for me personally and for my family. Thankfully, I had a network of people around me, both friends and loved ones, who rallied to help us out in our time of need. To all those who helped me and my family my many thanks are not enough to convey my emotion towards you. Since I’ve regained much of my health I’ve taken it upon myself to connect with other young adult bone marrow patients. I have also started a foundation called There Goes My Hero that raises funds for blood cancer research, family support programs and registers people as bone marrow donors.
Recently, my marketing assistant, Kelsey Elmore, introduced me to a friend of hers who was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia as a result of treatments she had been receiving for a different immune system disorder. I’ve been following her closely over the past few months and helping her understand the process and helping her understand what she could expect to experience physically and mentally. She is a tough young woman who has been dealt a horrible hand. In a recent conversation I had with her, she indicated that her fiancée had recently been laid off and she, of course, cannot work due to the intensity of her treatments. Her fiancée is also her primary care giver, meaning he transports her to the hospital daily for out patient monitoring programs amongst many other things.
I am organizing a meal drive for this special leukemia patient. I’ve set up a system where by prepared meals that have been frozen can be picked up. Now I need my friends and supporters to help out by preparing a meal or meals. Do whatever you can do! We have a church who will store extra food that we secure, so that we don’t inundate our friend with food. If meal preparation is not your forte or if you don’t have the time, gift cards to stores like Target or supermarkets would also be helpful and appreciated. If you have a different idea that you believe will help please share with us as well.
The There Goes My Hero Foundation is about doing great things and inspiring others to do the same. Those who fight leukemia and any cancer are HEROES and those who support those in the fight are HEROES as well. I am very emotional as I type this. Please help me help this young woman!
Kelsey Elmore, my assistant, is organizing the pick up and distribution. Please leave a message on our phone system or send an email and we will bring you into the great resource. Gift cards can be mailed to my PO Box, see below. We want this to be an efficient process that we can repeat in the future.
Please call me if you need more information about this drive or the There Goes My Hero foundation.
Only the best and THANK YOU!
There Goes My Hero