RUSH: We are in the midst here, folks, of setting a record. We are way ahead of our pace of last year in the annual Cure-A-Thon for leukemia and lymphoma, by a lot. It is gratifying as it ever has been and a sincere heartfelt thanks from me and all of the people -- by the way, for 18 years, it's been the same people at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with whom we have been dealing. Almost all of them have been personally touched either themselves or members of their family by one of these blood cancers, and their devotion to this cause is genuine and real, based on a desire to see progress here for everyone that is diagnosed with one of these cancers. Let me, by the way, give you the phone number here. You can also go to RushLimbaugh.com to donate with a credit card, Visa, MasterCard, American Express. When you do that, you're not going to be hounded by anybody else. Nobody's going to get your credit information, your card number, your address. Nobody's going to solicit you. You'll never hear from anybody. It's a hundred percent secure and private. The telephone number if you want to do that on the phone is 877-379-8888, and of course you can donate at RushLimbaugh.com.
Now, the evidence of our success, I mean, this money just doesn't come in and not go to use. It goes to great purpose. Hodgkin's lymphoma -- now, if the Drive-By Media were to report on the effort to wipe out and cure Hodgkin's lymphoma, they would probably report to you that 1,070 people died of this disease last year, and then stop there. They probably wouldn't tell you that 138,000 in the United States are living with it today, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and the long-term survival rate has increased from 40% in 1963 to 86% today. That's a new high this year. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, if the Drive-By Media reported this the way they report, say, the war in Iraq, you might read that 18,000 Americans died of this disease last year and think that the effort was pointless. Why contribute? Eighteen thousand people died. You would not be told that 405,000 people are living with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Long-term survival rates for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are up 64%. That is a new high as well.
Myeloma. This is a tough and stubborn disease. It has been beaten back from a five-year survival rate of 10% to 34% today, and, of course, we're not finished. Now, you have to know of the advances and the successes that are directly attributable to you and your support, which is why I go through these numbers and these statistics and why we chose to present them to you in this fashion, with the Iraq war analogy today. Because without your help, your contributions, without your support, without this information, the survivability rates that are going up and the numbers of people living with these diseases, without those numbers, you have no perspective of where we are on the battlefield here. But now you do. We are on offense. So many of these advances have taken place in the 18 years that we have been doing the Cure-A-Thon. New diseases and new cases are diagnosed every day, and people are succumbing. We do lose friends and family and loved ones, but progress continues to be made. And we can win this. Victory is attainable if we squarely see what we face and where we've been and where we're going and then make that commitment to not accept defeat and not pull out. Not that anybody is concerned that anybody would pull out. I just wanted to draw the contrast here, the overwhelming success with numbers that is attributable to you.
You are the ones that have made the research possible that has led to advances in treating these diseases and to roll them back in some cases. So the news is all good in the overall trend, and it will continue to get better with your support, and your support is running in here at a record clip. I mean last year was a record and we're almost twice, not counting my donation or the two sisters in Oregon that have matched it, just talking about you in this audience, we are so far ahead of last year. I'm overawed by this because of economic circumstances that a lot of people face today, simply with rising prices on staples, like food and gasoline. So you're touching a lot of hearts to today, those of you that have the means and the ability and are donating, doesn't take much, folks, but let me tell you what our premiums are. The average donation, by the way, is over $25, which is holding true to form for the previous years. But for $70, you can get a jump on our 20th anniversary EIB four-color T-shirt. Our 20th anniversary is coming up on the 1st of August, but for 70 bucks you can get a head start on getting your 20th anniversary four-color T-shirt, one-size-fits-all. And for a donation of $325, you will get a special edition EIB golf shirt. It's got my signature on the left sleeve. It's a springtime blue, a pretty shade of blue. The lettering is in white, the piping is in white on the sleeves, and you have your choice of sizes with this shirt. So Visa, MasterCard, you can call 877-379-8888, or go to RushLimbaugh.com and make your donation there.
CALLER: Wow, this is an honor and my distinct pleasure to speak with you, sir. And I just called to thank you personally for your contributions and donations to lymphoma and leukemia. It affects me on a very personal level. My mom was diagnosed with AML in the last year, and the numbers are staggering. When you investigate, like most people do, you know, when they have a loved one that comes down with this, the number of people that are stricken with this disease and how devastating it is, I made a small contribution, what I could afford, and while it was obviously nowhere near the scale of your donation, I want people to realize that small donations help, too. I mean, everything that they can give is appreciated, at least by me.
RUSH: Of course it is. You're absolutely right. It's not the size; it's the numbers of people.
CALLER: That's right.
RUSH: And that's how you get the geometric multiplication of the amount raised. It's like I said earlier, if everybody in the audience just had time to do a dollar, by the end of this day we'd have 12 million bucks.
CALLER: And the thing about it, the big thing about it for me is that this disease doesn't discriminate. It's devastating for anybody that contracts it, and, you know, my mom, on a personal level, she's never smoked a cigarette. I probably drink more on a good weekend than she ever drank, and for her to get stricken with this disease, it's just really devastating. My folks are in their retirement years and looking forward to enjoying that retirement, and to have this thing come is really devastating for the family, and the hard part is that they live in Florida in the winter and of course all of us kids are stuck in Michigan. So that's a hardship we have to bear, to be with her when we can. But the biggest thing is that the treatment that she's experiencing now will be ongoing every six months or a year to maintain until such time that she can't take it anymore.
RUSH: How is she doing now?
CALLER: She feels good, but it came back. She went through a year of treatment last year and couldn't make it back home and was looking forward to it this year. Then they came back, and now she's looking at further treatments this summer, but, you know, she's put her life in God's hands, as we have, and she's going to enjoy every day and, I mean, she's relatively young, you know, and it's just --
RUSH: Well this one is very stubborn. The disease your mom has is extremely stubborn. But the survival rate, 34% now, the five-year survival rate is 34%, that's up from 10% not long ago. So you have, in the midst of all the angst and the disappointment, you have reason to be hopeful. But you're right. It just depends on how long somebody can tolerate the extent of the treatment. But, look, it can't be easy for you to call here and share the story that you shared. In some cases it might be therapeutic to do so, but you have a lot of people in this audience today who are doing what they can to help your mom and other people in the future who will be stricken with one of these blood cancers. I'm glad you called. It had to be very tough for you. But thanks for your kind words thanking us in the midst of what's gotta be a very agonizing circumstance for you. Thanks so much.