RUSH: Today is our annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon. This is our 18th year. Eighteen years ago, the Excellence in Broadcasting Network joined in the crusade to defeat leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma that today afflicts over 820,000 people in the United States alone. I mean even today, 135,000 new casualties occurred in 2007, 52,000 died from these diseases, six people every hour, 18 people during this broadcast today will die, as 144 during the day will. You people during this entire Leukemia & Lymphoma Society surge -- and that's what we're calling it this year -- the surge is working. The outpouring of generosity that you all have committed to over the course of these 18 years has just been phenomenal. The amount of money that's raised in a three-hour program once a year -- and we don't even devote the whole program to it -- we will do the regular program today as well as intersperse pitches for people to participant today in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon. As with any war, there are battles, there are victories, there are losses, but this is a successful war we have found ourselves fighting.
It's the commitment and sacrifice and fortitude of you, the American people, to see things through that have resulted in victory. This fight is no exception. The enemy changes. These blood cancers, they fight back. But we have answered, and because of you there are approximately 50 drugs, in addition to new therapies, that have been developed to extend the fight. You've heard me talk of the drug Gleevec before numerous times. Gleevec is the most remarkable new agent that has been shown to normalize blood cell counts in nearly all patients, one of the toughest forms of leukemia we've encountered, CML. Now, this happened on our watch, during our surge. Leukemia has shown some resistance to Gleevec therapy in some patients but that doesn't matter because we've answered, and with your support, two second generation drugs entering clinical use are helping overcome that resistance in just the last couple of years.
RUSH: Write down this telephone number. This is the number to contribute, to donate. It's 877-379-8888. That's 877-379-8888. You can also donate at RushLimbaugh.com, and, as always, ladies and gentlemen, we have premiums for those of you who can contribute. We know it's a tough economy out there, and we know a lot of people have been giving money to Hillary and Obama. We can't figure out why in a tough economy, but they have been. The gasoline prices are up, but you've come through every year. You have stunned and shocked, pleasantly, happily surprised all of us every year. For a $70 donation you can get a jump on our 20th anniversary here with an EIB 20th anniversary four-color T-shirt, one-size-fits-all. Ha.
It's a masterful design thing that we've done here. One-size-fits-all. Head start on the EIB 20th anniversary shirt for $70. For a donation of $325, you get a special EIB golf shirt, special edition; my signature on the left sleeve. It's a great springtime blue, white lettering in piping on the sleeves. You'll have your choice of sizes with this shirt. You can always use MasterCard, Visa, American Express. And when you go to my website and donate, you'll be in an entirely secure area. You do not need to be concerned about any of your information being shared or passed to anybody outside the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This is something we insist upon here. You will not end up on a mailing list. You will not be receiving tons and tons of junk mail or other solicitations. You will not be harassed by phone calls.
So go to RushLimbaugh.com, you can see all the premiums there, and if you can't hit the $70 or $325 -- do you realize if everybody here just gave a dollar, then we would raise $12 to $15 million today alone. Any amount is accepted, and the people at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society pass most of it through. The administrative costs that they have are not very high at all, another reason why we are so happy to have the association with them. So here again is the phone number, 877-379-8888, or go to RushLimbaugh.com.
We want to wipe out leukemia and lymphoma. 877-379-8888 is the number to call, or you can go to our website, RushLimbaugh.com, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, and total privacy. Anything you can contribute, folks, is more than appreciated. You have made this surge successful in each of the past 18 years. We have no doubt you'll come through again this year.
RUSH: We want to wipe out leukemia and lymphoma, the blood cancers. Ladies and gentlemen, as I say every year, I watch these telethons and I listen to some of these things happen on radio, and I'm always struck by the carnival barker who is on stage, "Come on! Make the phones ring! Don't you care?" I keep saying, "What are you doing, pal? How much are you donating?" "Well, I'm giving my time." Oh. Fine and dandy. Ladies and gentlemen, as your commanding officer in Operation Chaos and in other areas, I never ask you to do something that I haven't done. So I always kick this off with my own donation, and I try to increase it every year, and I'm going to be able to this year. I get a little bit nervous announcing the amount, but I always have every year, and I announced the amount simply to try to get things moving.
I gave some appreciated stock last year that totaled around 262 or $272,000, but Larry Vanderveen is sitting up in our New York studio watching this with tears in his eyes because this program has opened so well. Larry, $300,000 from me to get this started. I want to break the record. We want to do it every year, and it's tough this year because of the economic circumstances that people genuinely face; the price of food, the price of gasoline and so forth, and everybody knows this going in. But we still hope to hear from you in great numbers with great compassion as you've come through with record-breaking years every year for 18 years.
RUSH: The news just keeps getting better, ladies and gentlemen. We are ahead of our pace from last year. That is amazing, because I klutzed up. I didn't give the phone number out for the first 20 minutes of the program, and we are still running ahead of last year. I love you people. I really do. I don't get a chance to tell you that as often as I should. There aren't words to express how much affection I have for you. Now, I have been challenged here. Two or three years ago I put out a little offer, if somebody would donate X-amount, that I would send EIB One to pick 'em up and bring 'em back. It was so high I said, "This is never going to happen." But it did. There were two different couples, and we flew 'em in here. One of the couples, they were sisters in Oregon, they have challenged me. They have told me if I will up my original donation to $400,000, that they will make a combined donation of $400,000 between them for a grand total of $800,000. I accept the challenge. So it's done. Eight hundred grand here in one hour just from three people. We don't give out the numbers here until the end, but you're running ahead of last year. What a fabulous week this has been, inspiring with the arrival ceremony at the White House, the speeches, the pope's visit this week has inspired millions of people. This program has been able to share in some of that.