Another Lymphomathon is in the books . . .

[Please visit our PHOTOS page to see images from this year's event]

November 9, 2013 was a remarkable day from start to finish.

Ninety of the most amazing people on the planet gave up their precious time on a beautiful Saturday morning to come to the Phoenix Zoo and walk with TEAM PETER. They joined more than 2,000 other committed walkers in making a very large and very loud statement that the battle against lymphoma will be won. That when good people come together for a good cause, the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts.

Now, a bit of history:

In 2011, TEAM PETER raised $5060, and we had 43 team members walk with us.

In 2012, TEAM PETER raised $9574, and we had 78 team members walk with us.

This year, we decided to shoot for a fundraising total of $10,000 – a daunting goal, to be sure, but we truly believed it was possible. As the walk date drew closer and we were still a long way from our goal, the miracles started happening. One by one, the donations started rolling in – from close friends and complete strangers, from family members and Facebook friends, from co-workers and brand new acquaintances. From YOU.

As of today, TEAM PETER’s 2013 Lymphomathon total is $10,616 - not including the $317 from the CPK fundraiser or any of the day-of-walk registrations and donations. It’s quite simply overwhelming.

Here’s one more overwhelming number for you: since TEAM PETER was formed in October 2011, you have helped us raise an incredible $25,250 (again, not including 2013 donations yet to be posted).

We are deeply grateful for every single dollar that was so generously donated to help us find a cure for lymphoma. As important as that is, it is a distant second to the gratitude we have for the incredible relationships with which we’ve been blessed.

We treasure every single one of you. You are our heroes.

THANK YOU.

WE’RE STILL HERE AND STILL HOPPING!

Thanks for your patience, oh faithful subscribers! We’ve been a bit distracted with getting email and Facebook campaigns up and running, so our presence here has been – well, not present. We’ll try and make it up to you!

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to check out our two Facebook pages. If you haven’t already done so, we’d really appreciate it if you’d LIKE our homepage or JOIN the event (if you’re on FB, you know the drill):

Team Peter’s Lymphomathon Central   and   TEAM PETER 2013: HOPPING FOR A CURE

Social media is a unique sort of animal that we aren’t even close to taming, but we’re doing our best to spread the word via these resources.

We’ve also been working very hard to learn how to send emails that don’t look like email. Whew! Plain text just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore, so it requires creating a mini-web page every time there’s something to communicate. We’re getting better at it, slowly but surely! Here’s a link to today’s email campaign about an exciting TEAM PETER fundraiser coming up on November 2nd:

Pizza With a Purpose

We’re just over halfway to our fundraising goal with only 18 days left until the Lymphomathon.  But like good little rabbits, we’re hopeful and optimistic and thinking lots of happy, positive thoughts about what we can accomplish between now and November 9th. Thanks for hanging in there with us!

HOP ON!!

Counting down . . .

Just 32 days until the Lymphomathon is here . . .  We’re WAAAAAAY short of last year’s numbers and this year’s goals, both in donations and team members, but I know we can get there. For me, this is a cause worth pursuing with passion, so I will doggedly beg, plead, and pester if it means getting us even a single dollar closer to a cure. My sweet sister, Chris, became cancer free four years ago today and remains cancer free (thank you, Lord!) I want so desperately for Peter to have the same opportunity to shout from the mountaintops, “I’m cancer free!”

Real Men Wear Pink

Real men wear pink

Real men wear pink

Despite the cultural advances of the last few years, it still takes a particularly confident sort of man to put on anything even remotely resembling the color pink. But it’s a rare breed, indeed, who will don a pair of bright pink bunny slippers and wear them proudly in public. No doubt about it: Peter “Mr. Rabbit” Chambers is as spectacularly rare as they come.

Peter was between his fourth and fifth rounds of chemo when Christmas came along in 2011. As usual, he was doing his very best to put on a cheerful face for our family and friends and neighbors, but this was without question a really, really tough time for him. He had a wonderful pick-me-up on Christmas morning, though, when he opened a package from our sweet daughter, Chalese, and found the most wonderful pair of squishy pink bunny slippers inside. Peter has long been known for his love of anything rabbit-y, so the slippers were an instant hit.

On Wednesday morning, December 28th, Peter walked into the chemo infusion center with his bunny slippers in tow. As soon as he plopped down in his recliner, off came the shoes and the slippers went on – to the absolute delight of everyone in the room.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that an infusion center isn’t always the happiest place on the block. It’s more like a battlefield where, for some, the fight is nearly overwhelming.  But there wasn’t a single one of those precious cancer patients and their saintly nurses who didn’t smile when they saw Peter’s amazing pink slippers. Their response was partly about the slippers themselves, but it was even more about the smiling, bouncy patient who was sporting them so delightedly. Peter and his pink bunnies brought some desperately needed sunshine into a place where cheerfulness is in pretty short supply.

As my sister Chris said so appropriately on Facebook, we hope the bunny slippers – our chemo slippers – will never have to be used again. That’s what TEAM PETER is all about: raising funds for the critical research that will lead to a cure for Peter and the tens of thousands of others like him.

HOP ON!!

Yes, Virginia, There Really Are Angels!

A cancer diagnosis is not something anyone ever “expects.”  Instead, it comes out of nowhere and smacks you upside the head with a previously inconceivable force.  Life as you knew it is over.  The only option is to start adjusting – minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, to the new reality of being a cancer survivor. 

Once that initial shock subsides, a weird sense of isolation starts to creep in, like no one else in the world could possibly know what it’s like.  Truthfully, no one else can fully know, but we’ve been fortunate to discover that there are lots and lots and lots of wonderful people who are willing to at least try.  Most of them are people we know well and love dearly.  Others are strangers whose kindness flows to us as if by osmosis.  Occasionally, there’s a magical melding of the two – and that’s how we came to be blessed by the Angel Squad.

We’ve known Casey Radermacher and his family for years, since they first arrived in Arizona from Minnesota when Casey was starting college.  Until almost a year ago, though, we hadn’t had the opportunity to meet Casey’s beautiful new wife, Kinslee.  Unbeknownst to us, when Casey and Kinslee learned about the Lymphomathon last year, they decided to approach their blended brood of seven precious children to discuss how they might contribute to finding a cure for Peter’s lymphoma. Kinslee and the kids had never met Peter, but they enthusiastically agreed to take up the cause.  With a homemade sign and a table outside their local Walmart store, Casey, Kinslee, and their kids took donations from an even broader circle of strangers whose generosity flowed through this amazing family to TEAM PETER, to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, and into the hands of cutting-edge researchers and compassionate care providers.

The story of the Radermachers and the Angel Squad was published this month in a beautiful article written by Holly Walter for “Inside Arrowhead” magazine.  It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face – and it might even prompt an idea or two of your own.

TEAMPETER.org is live!

team-peter-logo-final (Small)Hooray! After much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, our new TEAMPETER.org website is finally up and hopping! We hope you’ll join us on our journey to this year’s Lymphomathon. We promise there will be more fun than ever, as we work together to raise those all-important research dollars that WILL lead to a cure.

The FUN – and the FUNdraising – start NOW!