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Benefit at Victory Lane Cafe Sunday to support Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

By Staff | Aug 28, 2010

A benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will be held Sunday, Aug. 29, at Victory Lane Cafe, with everything from live music to live wrestling and even remote car races.
Dubbed as the local “2 Cure It We Tri It” event, the is part of a national fund-raising effort — to add to a triathlon that will be held in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Sept. 12.
The local event starts at 2 p.m. and will go until close, and has many activities for benefactors and patrons, along with specials all day.
Organizer Blakely Booth said she became committed to the cause because of a personal connection.
“My stepmother, Sue Booth, has leukemia and my sister Whitney Tizzano works for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,” she said.
A server at the cafe, Booth said she was thrilled when she approached the owner about doing this all-day benefit and was given the go ahead to do it.
“When my owner said yes, I had so many emotions going through my head, and I’m very happy to be able to do this,” she said.
Victory Lane Cafe owner Billi Jo Daggett said she is happy to sponsor the event. Daggett is a community leader in sponsoring events for local worthy causes.
Booth got the following words from sister Tizzano, for her flyer to advertise the event:
“Tri it, because no parent should have to watch their child suffer.
“Tri it, because no kid should grow up without a parent.
“Tri it, because no woman should have to shave their head.
“Tri it, because no family reunion should be at a funeral.
“Tri it, because everyone deserves the chance to live their life to the fullest.
“Tri it, because we are. Please help us in the battle against blood cancer. Every little donation makes a huge difference.”
Tizzano and friends will take part in this event and the national event as well.
“We are currently swimming, biking and running in preparation for Nation’s Triathlon in Washington, D.C., Sept. 12,” said Tizzano on her website Suncoast Sweethearts Tri It. (The link is pages.teamintraining.org/sun/nattri10/ SuncoastSweethearts for more information on the team.)
Booth’s family shared their experiences of living with leukemia.
Sue’s story
“As you go through life, you never think that you will be the one to get cancer,” said Sue Booth. “It is very surreal — knowing that you have a disease in you that can kill you, let alone one that flows through your blood. Quite candidly, I had no idea what leukemia was and when the doctor told me what it was I was very complacent and said ‘Fix it!’ This time it is not that easy.”
She said her husband was out of town when she told him and he was concerned it was a death sentence.
“Thank heaven for research and the discovery of (the drug) Gleevec. I’m tired every day, nauseous, weak, but every day I take another Gleevec and get to see another day.”
She said that what really hurts her is hearing of children getting this disease.
“That is just not fair. Kids deserve to live. My life will continue with Gleevec without a cure, but this is time to help that next child that finds out they have it.”

Whitney’s story
Daughter Tizzano shared her thoughts.
“My mom was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) on Mother’s Day, 2007,” said Tizzano. “There is no cure for this disease but thankfully, back in 2001, LLS researchers founded the drug Gleevec that helps patients inflicted with the disease to be treated. Without this ‘miracle drug’ we may not have been able to share this past Mother’s Day together. I am so thankful that research has come so far, but it needs to go farther!”
She said that some of the symptoms that her mother endures are very painful muscle cramps, nausea, kidney problems, a depressed immune system and more.
“A story I like to share is one time she was in the hospital getting a blood transfusion and she was extremely pale. My mom has a saying that ‘If I have lipstick on, I’m beautiful.’ So here she is, laying in a hospital bed, hooked up to IV’s, white as a sheet, and wants us to put lipstick on her. The doctor came in concentrating on her chart and not paying attention. He glanced up and jumped about five feet in the air as he sees this white face with the neon red lips. It was hilarious and she definitely was beautiful!”
After her mother was diagnosed and she was looking for a job in the area after college, she found working for the society a perfect fit.
She is asking for support, so family members like her do not have to go to bed worrying about loved ones with leukemia. If you miss the event and would like to make a donation, call Blakely Booth at 407-719-4579.
Victory Lane Cafe is at 4120 Hancock Bridge Parkway on the border of North Fort Myers and Cape Coral. For information, call 995-0340.