“In January 2012, our 8 year old son was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Three short years later, in January 2014, lightning struck our family again. Our 14 year old daughter Leah was diagnosed with Stage II-B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She had four masses in her body, one in her armpit, two in a chest and a very large mass in her neck. I am thankful to Chabad of Hunterdon, NJ for helping our family in 2012 when our son Matthew (Moshe Chaim) was diagnosed with Leukemia. I never thought our family would get struck by lightning twice,” said Rebekah Harms, Leah and Matthew’s mother. “Our worst nightmare has come true and I am both speechless and grateful that once again Chabad has stepped up to help support our family and bring awareness to our struggle. Please do you your best to help support this year’s annual auction fundraiser.”
Chabad of Hunterdon County will be hosting its Seventh Annual Auction fundraiser this Sunday, March 6th 2016 at the Stangl Factory in Flemington. The event will boast more than 60 prize packages, valued at over $100,000. Proceeds from the auction will provide educational scholarships and will support The Leah Harms Family Fund. Leah is a freshman at Hunterdon Central High School and lives in Whitehouse Station, NJ.
“As our son was coming to the end of his 3 ½ year treatment protocol, our daughter was beginning hers. After enduring 4 cycles of chemotherapy, she began 21 cycles of proton radiation. This was not new for our family, but since our world had revolved around cancer for three years, any new challenges or journeys we had to go on were taken with the same strength, endurance and positive thoughts as everything else.”
Three weeks after her last radiation treatment, she went for scans to check how well things were progressing. The scans still showed evidence of disease in her neck, which didn’t surprise her oncologist given the time between end of treatment and her scans, as well as the size of the mass in her neck at diagnosis.
After consulting her colleagues, it was decided that we wait until the beginning of September to perform scans again. To our dismay, the mass was still there, although it had shrunk, it was still there. Her oncologist gave her the option to perform a biopsy or wait three months and perform scans again. She chose to wait for the scans. The waiting was the hardest part, the not knowing if she would be alright, it was eating away at all of us. December’s scans were the same and I was losing hope.
The oncologist intervened, not giving our daughter a choice, but scheduling a biopsy to determine if she was in remission or she would have to undergo another form of treatment – involving a bone marrow transplant and intense chemotherapy.
On January 7th the biopsy was performed, but this time the doctor said we’d only have to wait seven to ten days for results. To our surprise, she called the next day. The pathologist was unable to locate any cancer cells, she is in remission!
You would think the story would end there, but it doesn’t. For our son he sees his doctors once a month for a check-up and blood work, these appointments will become fewer as we move farther away from his end of treatment date. Since he endured 3 ½ years of chemotherapy, he has a higher likelihood of developing late-stage side effects that can include other cancers, developmental issues (both physical and cognitive) and many other things we consistently have to be mindful of.
Our daughter will have scans every three months for several years to confirm her cancer remains in remission. Because the radiation was primarily concentrated at her neck, she has to be watched closely for the remainder of her life for thyroid disease and cancer. She, too, has a higher likelihood of developing late-stage side effects that we continually have to watch for. Both children will be seen by an oncologist for the rest of their lives.
Please continue to say Tehlllim for Moshe Chaim ben Pesha Perl and Leah Bas Pesha Perl.
Though the auction prizes usually prove to be enticing, this year’s grand prize is even bigger than ever. One lucky winner will be off on a Private Jet Vacation Getaway for Six to the Bahamas!
Some of the other prizes include a New York City Getaway, a Trip for 2 to Israel, a Drone, the Newest Apple iWatch, iPhone 6S, Apple iMac Desktop Computer, Macbook Air, iPad Air 2, $1,000 Visa gift card, $1,000 at Roman Jewelers, $1,000 at Sherman Jewelers, Bose Soundlink Wireless Speaker, VIP Yankee tickets, US Open Tennis package, as well as Golf packages from Trump National, Fiddler’s Elbow, and Beaver Brook Country Club. A full list of prizes and raffle tickets for each prize can be found online at www.mychabadauction.com.
The auction event will feature one of Back Stage Magazine’s 10 Standout Standups John Fisch, as seen on The Late Show with David Letterman and America’s Got Talent finalist Gary Vider, as seen on Conan. The evening will also offer an Open Bar by Mixologist Jeffry Goldberg and magnificent food catered by Joseph Craig Caterers.
Attendance at the auction is not necessary to participate and win. Admission and raffle tickets can be purchased online at www.mychabadauction.com or by calling 908-238-9002.
Use special coupon code “kosher” for 50% discount off your raffle tickets purchase!