People’s Stories

Heughligans Supporting Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

The official charity for Heughan’s Heughligans is Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (LLR). This is a charity that Sam has sponsored and raised money for several times in the past. Sam and LLR are very excited that we will be working with them to raise money for a great cause.

This is a place for those who want to share their experiences about how much this support means and why. If you want to share, please add your comments on the bottom of the page, and I’ll add them to the main text.


Denise Brunson

My 40 year old brother is currently battling Hodgkins Lymphoma. He has two young daughters with a third due October. He was a lean healthy father, husband and lead singer of his band with a sudden swelling on the side of his neck and difficulty breathing. Three weeks later, he’s exhausted by chemo, shots, tests. Hair is gone. Overweight from swelling. Throat and esophagus on fire from vomiting. Leg bones aching with the pain of a severe flu due to shots to increase his White Blood cells. Tears flowing in response to the uncertainty of his presence in his daughters’ lives. This is one of the people you are helping. They need the certainty that they can finish their life. You’re helping to gift them that.


eeebailey

There are a number of people that I care about who thave been affected by blood cancers.
My aunt had non-hodgkins lymphoma and died a few years ago.
A neighbor girl died last year of leukemmia she was 18.
The husband of a friend has a very rare blood cancer called Myelofibrosis, the treatments are only experimental.


Heather Clancy

My father was diagnosed with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) in 2001. Luckily, he is not experiencing any symptoms or requiring treatment at this time. While I am in the US, I am grateful that Sam and so many other support this cause because research benefits everyone, regardless of what country you’re in.


Claire Wallace (@CEWallace1)

Thank you so much for bringing awareness to everyone, my Mom lost her battle 8 days ago to Lymphoma.


Terri Folks

My mom died 11 years ago from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She was a very healthy person, walked-worked out, pretty much a vegetarian yet this horrible disease took her life within six months after five years in remission. I still miss her every day but she comes to me in my dreams to give me hugs. Thanks for supporting this worthy cause.


Jennifer Mann (@tessarakt2010)

It’s the end of 4th grade in 1987. My class is standing in line to go into gym class and I have my hands in my pockets. By sheer coincidence I went to scratch my leg through my pocket and noticed a large knot. I thought it was odd. Told myself if it was still there in a few days I’d show it to mom and dad. It was still there. Mom said the same. If it’s still there in a few days we’d go to the Dr. I’d had two enlarged lymph nodes removed from my neck when I was 2 yrs old, on two separate occasions, and those tested as some sort of tuberculin infection. I guess mom and my Dr. assumed it was the same. Dr. put me on a course of strong antibiotics. At my recheck it had grown. Significantly. I remember being wheeled into surgery and so terrified and crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoblastic Lymphoma on summer break between 4th and 5th grade in 1987.

Testing to see if and how far it had spread was sheer torture. I was 10. Old enough to get that it was serious, but not quite grasping that I could actually die. I was pumped full of these crazy dyes and put through very scary testing machines … and some were very painful. I’ve repeated many tests since then, and let me tell you … the technology has come a long way. It’s no wonder those monstrous machines terrified me then.

I do not remember what grade/stage they came up with. I think mom has told me recently but I don’t remember. I only know that it had not spread, thank God, and that all the cancer was removed in surgery. I never had radiation – and that’s a blessing. Only chemo. I was expected to be on chemo for 18 months.

I think I managed to go to school 5 days in 5th grade. The chemo made me THAT sick. I was sick all week, not just immediately following the treatments. My elementary school was not yet air conditioned and August in East TN can be pretty miserable. I had no heat tolerance at all. I nearly passed out. I remember my teacher walking me down the hall to the office – the only air conditioned room in the building. She had to hold me, I couldn’t see anything but the walls and the fans on either side of me … I was about to pass out. I did my work in the office. I had a home-bound teacher the rest of 5th grade and made the occasional ‘guest appearance’ with my class and was able to go on a couple field trips later in the year once I had become more accustomed to what the chemo did to me.

The first part – the most intense part … was rough to say the least. They gave meds to keep the nausea and vomiting at bay, but they only lasted until the middle of the night, then I’d be up all night sick. I remember falling asleep and dropping my bucket more than once. I was having treatments every week, swapping various IV drugs and spinal taps over each month. I lost nearly every bit of muscle mass your average 10 yr old carts around. I had to stop taking piano lessons because my fingers were not strong enough to play. I still, at 36 yrs old can not walk on my heels … I never redeveloped the particular muscles to do that. Not really any need to at this point I guess. My hair fell out. Wigs sucked. They were hot and uncomfortable and drew more attention to me than wearing a cap or just going bald. Kids I thought were friends made fun of me. One actually snagged my wig and took off. I found out later the other friends there at the time took care of it for me. They brought me this big poster with hand written apologies and a stuffed gorilla the next day. I finally accepted the baldness and just let it be. I think I still have that gorilla.

Sixth grade was better. I only had treatments every other week, on Mon, and only missed the first 2-3 days of school those weeks. My home-bound teacher stayed on as a tutor to keep me from getting behind. All but one of my teachers would send my assignments with me on Fri. so I could work on them over the weekend while I still felt well enough. My home-bound had to have a meeting with the one that wouldn’t. He wanted me to make it up after I came back every week, then refused to accept a couple assignments. I never had another problem out of him after she met with him. My school pictures from 6th grade show me with very short, very thin and unhealthy hair. I was still made fun of and there were many questions I didn’t know how to answer because I was never sure if they were making fun of me too. I can still tell you the names of those that made fun of me. I was happy to find that two kids I had met at camp the summer before 6th were also in 6th grade with me. That helped. I at least wasn’t alone. One had leukemia and the other, bladder cancer. I have no idea where they are now. I hope they are still with us.

The hospital was a world of it’s own. Children’s Hospital is special. Seriously special. I cried the first time I had to go to an adult hospital because I was spoiled by the care I had become accustomed to at Children’s. We had a summer camp, just for us, where we got to do normal camp things with other kids who were sick and weak and fighting. The camp still exists. It’s free, totally donated. This is the write up in the Knoxville paper from this summer’s camp. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/jul/31/at-blount-county-camp-children-fighting-cancer/?partner=RSS One of my very best friends, still to this day, I met at camp. She is one of the first babies to have ever survived neuroblastoma. I made new friends and then lost them to cancer … at 10, 11 and 12 yrs old. I remember those friends better than some people I’ve known my whole life.

My last treatment was Dec 27, 1989. One of the friends I made had his last treatment the same day. I have pictures of us, and our families with some of our local government officers and we received certificates of bravery. Is it really bravery when you have no choice? I don’t remember being brave. I just remember thinking how I didn’t feel sick until they started treating me, and then it became routine. Then for years after I swore I’d never do it again. Until I got to the point that I understood what the alternative would have been. I’m told it’s not as bad now.

We were children. CHILDREN.

Childhood lymphoma was on an insane rise around the time I was diagnosed. I have no idea how it stands now. I can only imagine it’s even more common. It’s very much an environmental thing. Pesticides. Herbicides. Or, in my case … repeated flea bombing in our house when I was little bitty.

I’m 36 yrs old now. I have the most amazing and understanding husband I could ask for. I have two beautiful children … after wondering if I even could have children. I miscarried one and followed with my daughter who’s 7 and my son who was born on my 32nd birthday. My miscarriage was a fluke, thank God. Even 26 yrs later, I still panic at every little thing on me, or my kids … that it’s cancer. I’ve been assured, repeatedly, that the instances of childhood lymphoma returning in adulthood are negligible and that my history does not put my children at greater risk, but that fear remains. We’ve had a couple scares with my son and I barely kept it together until we were clear.

Lymphoma and Leukemia research is near and dear to me … I lived it. And I’m still here, LIVING.

Sadly, I don’t feel that the environmental aspect of it is taken seriously enough.

And now I need to try and stop crying before my kids start asking questions! LOL Can you believe that? Twenty six years out and telling my story still makes me cry like a baby. Kids aren’t supposed to grow up that fast.

17 thoughts on “People’s Stories

  1. My mom died 11 years ago from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She was a very healthy person, walked-worked out, pretty much a vegetarian yet this horrible disease took her life within six months after five years in remission. I still miss her every day but she comes to me in my dreams to give me hugs. Thanks for supporting this worthy cause.

    • After 5 yrs in remission? I’m so sorry. I don’t know if it’s the same for adults, but with children … 5 yrs is considered cured. I have no idea if that still holds true in the time since my experience.

  2. It’s the end of 4th grade in 1987. My class is standing in line to go into gym class and I have my hands in my pockets. By sheer coincidence I went to scratch my leg through my pocket and noticed a large knot. I thought it was odd. Told myself if it was still there in a few days I’d show it to mom and dad. It was still there. Mom said the same. If it’s still there in a few days we’d go to the Dr. I’d had two enlarged lymph nodes removed from my neck when I was 2 yrs old, on two separate occasions, and those tested as some sort of tuberculin infection. I guess mom and my Dr. assumed it was the same. Dr. put me on a course of strong antibiotics. At my recheck it had grown. Significantly. I remember being wheeled into surgery and so terrified and crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoblastic Lymphoma on summer break between 4th and 5th grade in 1987.

    Testing to see if and how far it had spread was sheer torture. I was 10. Old enough to get that it was serious, but not quite grasping that I could actually die. I was pumped full of these crazy dyes and put through very scary testing machines … and some were very painful. I’ve repeated many tests since then, and let me tell you … the technology has come a long way. It’s no wonder those monstrous machines terrified me then.

    I do not remember what grade/stage they came up with. I think mom has told me recently but I don’t remember. I only know that it had not spread, thank God, and that all the cancer was removed in surgery. I never had radiation – and that’s a blessing. Only chemo. I was expected to be on chemo for 18 months.

    I think I managed to go to school 5 days in 5th grade. The chemo made me THAT sick. I was sick all week, not just immediately following the treatments. My elementary school was not yet air conditioned and August in East TN can be pretty miserable. I had no heat tolerance at all. I nearly passed out. I remember my teacher walking me down the hall to the office – the only air conditioned room in the building. She had to hold me, I couldn’t see anything but the walls and the fans on either side of me … I was about to pass out. I did my work in the office. I had a home-bound teacher the rest of 5th grade and made the occasional ‘guest appearance’ with my class and was able to go on a couple field trips later in the year once I had become more accustomed to what the chemo did to me.

    The first part – the most intense part … was rough to say the least. They gave meds to keep the nausea and vomiting at bay, but they only lasted until the middle of the night, then I’d be up all night sick. I remember falling asleep and dropping my bucket more than once. I was having treatments every week, swapping various IV drugs and spinal taps over each month. I lost nearly every bit of muscle mass your average 10 yr old carts around. I had to stop taking piano lessons because my fingers were not strong enough to play. I still, at 36 yrs old can not walk on my heels … I never redeveloped the particular muscles to do that. Not really any need to at this point I guess. My hair fell out. Wigs sucked. They were hot and uncomfortable and drew more attention to me than wearing a cap or just going bald. Kids I thought were friends made fun of me. One actually snagged my wig and took off. I found out later the other friends there at the time took care of it for me. They brought me this big poster with hand written apologies and a stuffed gorilla the next day. I finally accepted the baldness and just let it be. I think I still have that gorilla.

    Sixth grade was better. I only had treatments every other week, on Mon, and only missed the first 2-3 days of school those weeks. My home-bound teacher stayed on as a tutor to keep me from getting behind. All but one of my teachers would send my assignments with me on Fri. so I could work on them over the weekend while I still felt well enough. My home-bound had to have a meeting with the one that wouldn’t. He wanted me to make it up after I came back every week, then refused to accept a couple assignments. I never had another problem out of him after she met with him. My school pictures from 6th grade show me with very short, very thin and unhealthy hair. I was still made fun of and there were many questions I didn’t know how to answer because I was never sure if they were making fun of me too. I can still tell you the names of those that made fun of me. I was happy to find that two kids I had met at camp the summer before 6th were also in 6th grade with me. That helped. I at least wasn’t alone. One had leukemia and the other, bladder cancer. I have no idea where they are now. I hope they are still with us.

    The hospital was a world of it’s own. Children’s Hospital is special. Seriously special. I cried the first time I had to go to an adult hospital because I was spoiled by the care I had become accustomed to at Children’s. We had a summer camp, just for us, where we got to do normal camp things with other kids who were sick and weak and fighting. The camp still exists. It’s free, totally donated. This is the write up in the Knoxville paper from this summer’s camp. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/jul/31/at-blount-county-camp-children-fighting-cancer/?partner=RSS One of my very best friends, still to this day, I met at camp. She is one of the first babies to have ever survived neuroblastoma. I made new friends and then lost them to cancer … at 10, 11 and 12 yrs old. I remember those friends better than some people I’ve known my whole life.

    My last treatment was Dec 27, 1989. One of the friends I made had his last treatment the same day. I have pictures of us, and our families with some of our local government officers and we received certificates of bravery. Is it really bravery when you have no choice? I don’t remember being brave. I just remember thinking how I didn’t feel sick until they started treating me, and then it became routine. Then for years after I swore I’d never do it again. Until I got to the point that I understood what the alternative would have been. I’m told it’s not as bad now.

    We were children. CHILDREN.

    Childhood lymphoma was on an insane rise around the time I was diagnosed. I have no idea how it stands now. I can only imagine it’s even more common. It’s very much an environmental thing. Pesticides. Herbicides. Or, in my case … repeated flea bombing in our house when I was little bitty.

    I’m 36 yrs old now. I have the most amazing and understanding husband I could ask for. I have two beautiful children … after wondering if I even could have children. I miscarried one and followed with my daughter who’s 7 and my son who was born on my 32nd birthday. My miscarriage was a fluke, thank God. Even 26 yrs later, I still panic at every little thing on me, or my kids … that it’s cancer. I’ve been assured, repeatedly, that the instances of childhood lymphoma returning in adulthood are negligible and that my history does not put my children at greater risk, but that fear remains. We’ve had a couple scares with my son and I barely kept it together until we were clear.

    Lymphoma and Leukemia research is near and dear to me … I lived it. And I’m still here, LIVING.

    Sadly, I don’t feel that the environmental aspect of it is taken seriously enough.

    And now I need to try and stop crying before my kids start asking questions! LOL Can you believe that? Twenty six years out and telling my story still makes me cry like a baby. Kids aren’t supposed to grow up that fast.

    Jennifer Mann
    @tessarakt2010

    • I did not intend (or realize until after) that my story would be so long. I apologize for that … but consider it me sharing the story of every child, b/c I’m sure that other children going through it would have very similar stories to mine.
      That short time has impacted my life so greatly, both negatively AND positively. I wouldn’t necessarily be who or where I am now otherwise.

      • Jennifer, please don’t apologize. Your story was, heart-breaking and uplifting and scary all at once. And life is like that sometimes. Best wishes.

  3. I also dance with a woman who’s husband survived lymphoma after they had started dating. I found it out when we were waiting on results from my son’s second scare. I was talking to her about it, just to chat, and told her about my history and that was why I was so terrified. She told me about her husband. He is also well and they have two children that have been born since.

  4. My father was diagnosed with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) in 2001. Luckily, he is not experiencing any symptoms or requiring treatment at this time. While I am in the US, I am grateful that Sam and so many other support this cause because research benefits everyone, regardless of what country you’re in.

  5. There are a number of people that I care about who thave been affected by blood cancers.
    My aunt had non-hodgkins lymphoma and died a few years ago.
    A neighbor girl died last year of leukemmia she was 18.
    The husband of a friend has a very rare blood cancer called Myelofibrosis, the treatments are only experimental.

  6. My 40 year old brother is currently battling Hodgkins Lymphoma. He has two young daughters with a third due October. He was a lean healthy father, husband and lead singer of his band with a sudden swelling on the side of his neck and difficulty breathing. Three weeks later, he’s exhausted by chemo, shots, tests. Hair is gone. Overweight from swelling. Throat and esophagus on fire from vomiting. Leg bones aching with the pain of a severe flu due to shots to increase his White Blood cells. Tears flowing in response to the uncertainty of his presence in his daughters’ lives.
    This is one of the people you are helping. They need the certainty that they can finish their life. You’re helping to gift them that.

  7. Jennifer, your story made me cry. I cannot begin to imagine the extent of what you and so many others have gone through, but I am glad to give to cancer research and will proudly wear my Heughligans tshirt in support. I need to go find a tissue now. Very best wishes.

  8. hello Heughligans! Little Arjun is the nephew of a pal. He is battling leukemia. He has his very own twitter page @superduperarjun with super man imagery to help pump him up on his fight (sorry Sam not Batman). He’s trying for 10,000 smile pics with the hashtag #iamsuperduper thanks everyone!

  9. Great strides have been made with leukemia in the last thirty years, which shows the power of money for research. One of the cancer survivors above wrote she had a friend who was one of the first survivors of neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer. My nephew Simon died three years ago of neuroblastoma at age 11. He fought a good fight but research and treatment for those afflicted over the age of 2 is limited, mostly by money. Raising money for cancer research is a very caring and important response to this disease in its various forms, especially for children. I hope this generous outpouring of money and awareness continues to grow!

  10. I am such a new Heughligans. A few short weeks ago I never even heard of Outlander or Sam Heughan. After watching all 8 episodes in one day and now reading the book. I’m sooo hooked. Love Love Love it 🙂 After spending the last week looking up everything to do with Outlander I
    kinda feel like a stalker :\ I can’t wait for April to come.
    I am so amazed at how wonderful and giving the fans are. As a mom of a child who lost his battle with the monster called CANCER. I so happy to see that cancer is one of the charities that the Heughligans support. Is there anyway we can get some support for Childhood Cancer Awareness. Childhood cancer is not rare ! Every day, 42 children are diagnosed with cancer. Children’s cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups. We need more awareness and a cure. Our children are our future. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to go off on this….but I just want to bring a litlle awareness . My son Christopher Alexander Heron meant the world to me and I wish I could have done more for him…
    Sorry guys I didn’t mean to ramble on…
    I just wanted to say how amazing you all are

  11. My father passed from Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in 85 when I was 11 years old. It seemed like he was healthy as an ox one day and skins and bones in the matter of months. My prays are with all family’s dealing with any cancer its a nasty Disease.

  12. Tomarrow i go in to have my lymphod biopsied. When i was told i may have a lymphoma i thought they were going to do the biopsie right away. But that was a month ago. For the first two weeks after that doctor visit it was like all i heard was white noise i was in a daze for two weeks. I didnt want to tell anybody because i did t want to worry them and the ones i did tell said dont think so negative you cannot think like that. But holding it inside or people says dont think so negitive is like saying shut up i dont want to hear it you cannot help the thoughts that creep into your head while you wait and people telling you to put on a brave face. just listen you dont need to donate money listening to someone who is scared brings so much healing relief. I am not scared of the disease anymore. I am more scared on how i am suppose to fight and make a living. One day at a time That is more scary living is harder to do then dying. I asked the doctors how they treat it now from when my parents and siblings had it 10 and 20 years ago it seems they treat it alot diffrent now then then. Then they were in the hospital until the cancer was gone now treatment in the morning and then go home until the next day and go in for treatment….

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