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Rush Donates $300,000 to Lead 2009 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Greetings to you music lovers and thrill seekers and conversationalists and donors all across the fruited plain. Time for the award-winning, thrill-packed, ever-exciting, increasingly popular, growing by the leaps and bounds Rush Limbaugh program on Friday. It's also the 19th Annual Cure-A-Thon for leukemia and lymphoma. Nineteen years we've been doing this. I've been doing the radio show for 20-plus years. So that means the leukemia crowd came on board in 1989. And it's been wonderful, and so have you. All right. Here are the rules. I know we've got a lot of new listeners. Yesterday we set an e-mail record. Something like 425,000 e-mails during the program yesterday. Yeah. So I know there's a lot of new listeners out there.

And to bring you up to speed here on Open Line Friday. Monday through Thursday, this program -- you have to understand, I'm a benevolent dictator. This program is about what interests me. And if people call Monday through Thursday about things that don't interest me, they never see the light of broadcast day. But on Friday I broom all of that and I turn over the all-important content of the program to callers when we go to the phones, so the callers own the program, whatever you want to talk about, feel free. If I don't care about it, I will fake it. Or I will tell you I don't care about it and just let you talk about it. It's up to you. Telephone number is 1-800-282-2882. And the e-mail address is Elrusho@eibnet.com.

Now I want you to write down this phone number as well and keep it handy. We'll be mentioning it throughout the busy broadcast day. It's 877-379-8888. That is the number to cure leukemia and lymphoma. For one day -- and we do this one day every year, this is our 19th year -- we are raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It's the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated not only to funding blood cancer research, but education and patient services to people just like you. Now, the work of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is international funding research at home and overseas, and they are outstanding in all that they do. It's interesting. This is 19 years, and I have been working with the same people for 19 years, Pam Edelstein and Larry Vanderveen. Now, that's commitment. Everyone involved at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that we deal with has been personally affected by this disease, one way or another. Either they themselves have contracted a form of blood cancer or members of their families have. They are in this because of the commitment to the cause, 19 years the same people. It's almost like they're part-time employees. They're dependable, you can count on them, and they're here.

Now, there are a lot of important and wonderful charities out there, but what I love about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is that they are advancing every year. Through hard work and the generosity of people like you, we have blood cancers now playing defense. The blood cancers are on defense. We're moving the ball each and every year. It's slow, but it is steady progress. This day -- we usually do it sometime in April every year -- is one of the most meaningful days of the year, and it's stunning the level of support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has received from you. One day a year, less than three hours total. We do not devote the entire program to the cause. We mix our fund-raising effort here in with the rest of Open Line Friday, and the amount of money that you all have contributed to this cause to cure blood cancers over the years is just stunning. Now, everybody is aware that we are in challenging economic times. The unemployment rate is what it is and so everybody's expectations are realistic. We're always high, and we always dream, but, nevertheless, these diseases go on. They don't know economic circumstances and they don't know gender and they don't know race or religion or anything else. They strike people at times late in life.

You generally hear about the disease when somebody you know or somebody who is famous contracts a form of it. It can happen in their 40s or 50s and it is stunning when it happens, but it hits everybody and there's no rhyme or reason to it. Everybody is a potential victim here. Nine-hundred thousand patients and their families are living with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, myeloma, and 100,000 more patients are diagnosed every year. Now these people have more than hope going for them, because the work they're doing today for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is bringing quantifiable change, progress, and especially, especially for kids. Leukemia is the number one cancer killer of children under the age of 20. The most common form of childhood leukemia has an overall survival rate today of 88 percent. That's up one percent since a year ago. The progress here is demonstrable, and it's significant. Lymphoma is diagnosed in 63,000 Americans every year, 20,000 succumb to the disease. The five-year survival rate has risen from 47 percent in 1974 to 65 percent today, which is up another 2 percent from a year ago.

Hodgkin's disease today is considered curable. The five-year survival rate is now up to 86 percent, and it is even higher for those under 20. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has a long-term survival rate of 65 percent. None of this would be possible were it not for the generosity of Americans all over the country who are contributing to research. Each time that we draw near to the Cure-A-Thon, I always receive tons of e-mails from family members or people who have one of these various blood cancers describing their circumstances, how their treatment is going, how valuable the research from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has been, and the e-mails are always filled with thanks, people asking to be passed on to you for all of the generosity, contributions, donations that you have made.

Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells. Sixty-three thousand Americans currently live with this disease. There are 15,000 new patients diagnosed every year. Now, this disease rarely strikes those under the age of 50, and the five-year survival rate was only 32 percent a couple years ago. It's gone up to 35 percent now. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society dollars instrumental in the development of a new treatment since we last spoke, Velcade, that brought about these recent gains. So the research goes on, lots of breakthroughs to be telling you about during the course of the day. And, as always, ladies and gentlemen, we have premiums for those of you who have the ability and wherewithal to be generous this year. You can also donate at RushLimbaugh.com, we've got an online link where you can go and donate that way if you choose. Or you can call 877-379-8888. Donating online is fast. It's secure the way we do it. It holds down processing costs. More of your money thus goes right under the microscope. And the information you provide will not be shared or sold to any third-party company. If you donate today or through the weekend at RushLimbaugh.com, nobody outside of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will know about it.

Now, a donation of 70 bucks, you will get a special commemorative Dittohead T-shirt. It's a one-size-fits-all T-shirt. It's a reissue of the original Dittohead design that heralded the start of this program's growing influence back in 1988. It's a great T-shirt, the first one we ever produced, and a donation of 70 bucks gets you the T-shirt. A one-hundred dollar donation entitles you to the commemorative Dittohead T-shirt plus a special edition EIB golf cap. High quality adjustable-sized golf cap fits heads of all sizes. It comes in black, has a silver EIB logo, and my signature on the front. And if you go for broke, $325 or above, you will get the EIB golf hat plus a special edition EIB golf shirt that is also in black. We chose black this year to commemorate the Obama economy. Well, the T-shirt's not, the golf shirt is black. The cap is black. The golf shirt, a high quality ultra cool technology shirt, got the EIB logo on the chest and logo and my signature on the sleeve. The sizes come small to 2X.

As usual, as is always the case, I, ladies and gentlemen, never sit here and ask you to do something that I haven't done, or that I don't do. I don't want to impugn those who moderate and host Cure-A-Thons on radio or television and implore you, because every time I watch these things, other than Jerry Lewis, every time I watch I say, "What are you doing? Telling everybody else to drop everything, what are you doing?" "I am donating my time." Oh. Yeah, time has cured a lot of diseases. So, ladies and gentlemen, I'll start. I'm going to throw in $250,000 to get it all started.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We're curing lymphoma and leukemia here on our annual Cure-A-Thon to do just that. This is year number nineteen. There have been years, by the way, not too long ago -- throughout, I guess, the last seven-and-a-half years, as you remember -- that the Drive-By Media was doing everything they could to make us believe we were in a recession or heading there as part of their ongoing effort here to depress you so as to make a Democrat option on Election Day more palatable. And even during those years, when we have thought, "Well, obviously we're going to have trouble maintaining a level of support we had last year, just because the economy is what it is now," admittedly, and we've always been wrong about that. Every year we thought we were going to have a down year, and we didn't.

And it's a testament to all of you, and every year this happens, the people we work with here at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, they're in tears at the end of each program every year, as am I. But this year is a unique circumstance. So, I want to make the point I make every year. It doesn't take $70. If you don't have $70 to give one of the premiums or $100 or $325, whatever it is, if everybody just gave a buck, can you imagine how much money we'd raise? If everybody just went to RushLimbaugh.com and donated a dollar -- and every donation counts. You're talking about so many people here today. They all add up. There's no difference in a $50 donation and $5 donation. By the time you add them all up, they all count and they're all appreciated. So RushLimbaugh.com -- and when you go to RushLimbaugh.com and you click on the link there, it will explain all the premiums: the T-shirt, the golf shirt, the cap -- and all the details about what we are doing today.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: That's the phone number to call the program and the phone number if you want to go landline route or your cell phone to make a donation to cure lymphoma and leukemia, is 877-379-8888. But at the first break, we were ahead of last year's pace. I was blown away last year. I forget what was going on last year. Oh! We were heading into a rotten economy. I was stunned that we beat the previous year, last year. I'm amazed. We've got not only more dollars brought in, but we have -- if I'm reading this right -- more donors as well, which would make sense because our audience has expanded by leaps and bounds. RushLimbaugh.com. The vast majority of people are donating online, which is the simplest way to do it -- and, again, you are guaranteed pure privacy. Nobody will get your information after you donate either by phone or at RushLimbaugh.com, as we do our nineteenth Cure-A-Thon to cure lymphoma and leukemia.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I was telling Snerdley here in the break at the top of the hour, I'm stunned that not only do we have more donors after an hour than we had last year, but we've raised more money. Snerdley thinks what's happening -- of course, the audience has expanded geometrically -- but Snerdley thinks, "You don't ask a lot of this audience, and this is a great cause and it's showing tremendous results, progress. Survival rates are increasing. New drugs are coming out to enhance life experience after diagnosis of one of these dreaded diseases, and probably people are ponying up in smaller donations this year, whatever." However you're doing it folks, you're once again stunning and amazing all of us involved here in the 19th annual leukemia Cure-A-Thon to wipe out the blood cancers.

Nine hundred thousand patients and their families are right now living with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease and myeloma, and 100,000 more will be diagnosed every year. But these people have more hope going for them because the work that we're doing today -- actually that you are doing -- for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is bringing quantifiable change, progress, especially for kids. Now, I mentioned in the case of myeloma, which is cancer of the plasma cell, 63,000 Americans currently live with myeloma. There are 15,000 new patients diagnosed every year, and this is one of the blood cancers that rarely strikes anybody under the age of 50. The five-year survival rate was 32 percent a couple years ago. It's been improved now to 35 percent. Your dollars that you have generously donated have been instrumental in the development of a new treatment.

Since we last spoke on this last year, Velcade is the name of this new treatment that's brought about these recent gains, and that's just the latest breakthrough that you've heard about during our history here with the Cure-A-Thon. If you're a regular listener, you will remember Gleevec. I got an e-mail from someone last night who was using Gleevec and who was swearing by it. All of the remarkable... In fact, this person told me he's in remission for seven-and-a-half years. He has five kids, and he's in remission seven-and-a-half years using Gleevec and other treatments. Gleevec is the drug that helped turn certain cancers that might have been fatal into chronic conditions, survivable. And Gleevec has now been approved for the treatment of three other cancers. Gleevec came about purely and simply because of the generosity of people all over the country like you who donated to the research effort.

And I love this stuff that happens in the private sector. I love the people getting involved, and private-sector work actually getting done here in a very efficient and effective way. But the vast majority of the money that you donate today -- for example, to leukemia, lymphoma -- goes to research. One of the great things about this charity is they're not top heavy. They don't take 40 percent off the top for salary, administrative and this sort of thing. The people I work with, I have been working with them for 19 years. They have not changed. They have been as committed throughout the 19 years as they were when I first met them. They've all been personally affected one way or another by a blood cancer disease. One of the things that I have really grown to like about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society over these years is they pioneered bone marrow transplants.

Which is now, it's a ho-hum, common, everyday procedure. You see it on various television shows. But do you know what bone marrow transplants are? Bone marrow transplants are in fact adult stem cell transplants. Bone marrow transplants are adult stem cell transplants. The only stem cell therapy to date that is beyond showing promise, it is working. You didn't know that bone marrow was adult stems? It is. Bone marrow transplants are adult stem cell transplants, and they're the only ones that are working. All the others have a lot of promise. These are the only ones that are working. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society pioneered bone marrow transplants.

The Society is now very heavily invested in research to remedy complications with second-party non-identical stem cell transplants which would open up this therapy to even more patients. Now, when you donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, nearly 75 percent of the money goes directly to research, patients and support services as well. I know the kind of people at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They are some of the finest and most committed people I have met, and most of them -- the ones I know -- have been touched in some way by these cancers, and with the progress that's being made each and every year... That's also been very uplifting to be able to come here every year and say, "There's progress from last year!" I don't have to say: "Folks, we haven't learned anything new. We haven't moved forward but still, we'd like to ask you to donate."

There is demonstrable progress -- on survivability rates, particularly -- each and every year. So it's not the time to rest or to redeploy or to withdraw, especially from a cause and effort showing so much promise and providing so many breakthroughs. So join me today. I made my traditional donation in the last hour. I always do what I ask you to do. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. RushLimbaugh.com is where you can go to donate online. The vast majority so far today are doing that today. There's a phone number: 877-379-8888, and don't worry about security and privacy. Nobody is going to get your information. Nobody will have it after you donate online -- and, yes, ladies and gentlemen, there are premiums and these are detailed at RushLimbaugh.com when you hit the Leukemia Society donation button. It's fast and secure, by the way, to do it online.

Here's a quick run-down of the premiums: for a $70 donation, you get a commemorative Dittohead T-shirt. It's one-size-fits-all, and this is a reissue of the original Dittohead T-shirt from 1988. It's cool. Just in terms of a Dittohead T-shirt, there hasn't been one better. A $100 donation gets you the commemorative T-shirt plus a special EIB golf hat, a cap. High quality, adjustable size. Comes in black. Silver EIB logo and my signature on the front. And, for a, $325 donation, you get the golf hat and the EIB golf shirt. Now, the golf shirt and a hat come in black to commemorate the Obama economy. The shirt's cool. Ultra cool fabric. EIB logo on the chest. The logo and my signature on the sleeve. And this shirt is sized small to 2X. And, again, we're running ahead of where we were last year, which is just fabulous.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I was stunned to see how many people here in the studio did not know that bone marrow transplants, which were pioneered by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, are adult stem cell transplants. And they're the only ones that work. The others, it is said, have a lot of promise. But they work. There are many important, wonderful charities out there, but what I've always loved about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is that they are advancing every year. Every year here there is progress to report. Thanks to the hard work, generosity of people like you, blood cancers are now playing defense. We're moving the ball each and every year slowly but surely. Do you know leukemia is the number one cancer killer of children under the age of 20, and the most common form of childhood leukemia has an overall survival rate today of 88 percent.

That's as astronomically high and it's up 1 percent over last year. Lymphoma is diagnosed in 63,000 Americans every year; 20,000 succumb to it. The five-year survival rate has gone up from 47 percent in 1974 to 65 percent today, and up another 2 percent over last year. Hodgkin's today is considered curable. The five-year survival rate is now up to 86 percent. It's even higher for those under 20. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has a long-term survival rate of 65 percent. Now, cancer of the plasma cells. That's what myeloma is. Sixty-three thousand Americans at present live with the disease. Fifteen thousand new patients are diagnosed every year. This disease rarely strikes people under the age of 50. The five-year survival rate was only 32 percent a couple years ago, and that's been improved to 35 percent. Now, we've been doing all this for 19 years, you and I together. It's tremendous, and every year you have donated more than the previous year.
And this year is no exception. Even with economic circumstances as they are, you are still coming through with flying colors. And you are in the process of blowing everybody away here. You're meeting and surpassing all the expectations that were had of you on this day, and I can't thank you enough. On behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society I can't thank you enough from the bottom of my heart.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Folks, this is incredible. Our total number of donors -- and remember, last year our Cure-A-Thon set records in number of donors and dollars raised. Our total number of donors is up 25 percent this year, 25 percent! This is no doubt the result of the vast increase in audience that has taken place this year in the program. But good grief, thanks all of you, this is just amazing! In this economic climate, total number of donors, right now we're getting close to 500,000 donors here in just the first hour at both the phone number 877-379-8888 and RushLimbaugh.com -- and of course the amount of dollars up commensurately as well on our 19th Annual Cure-A-Thon to wipe out leukemia and lymphoma.

Mark in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, you're next, sir, on Open Line Friday. Great to have you here

CALLER: Rush, it's great to talk to you. I wanted to thank you very, very much for all the wonderful work you're doing for the Leukemia Society and thank you for your listeners, too.

RUSH: They're the ones that deserve the thanks. They're the ones that deserve it, plus the people at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, because they're the ones that channel the money to the right researchers, but none of this would be possible without all of you out there.

CALLER: Yes. I am a leukemia survivor.

RUSH: Really?

CALLER: Yes. I was diagnosed in 1990, and in December of 1991 I had a bone marrow transplant, just like you were talking about.

RUSH: Was it straight leukemia that you were diagnosed with?

CALLER: It was chronic myelogenous leukemia.

RUSH: How old were you?

CALLER: Thirty-two.

RUSH: Married?

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: Kids?

CALLER: Yes, two girls.

RUSH: How did you feel when they told you that?

CALLER: Pretty down.

RUSH: What were you feeling like before you got the diagnosis? Why did you go have it checked?

CALLER: With me I lost my appetite, and I lost my energy. I was really fatigued.

RUSH: That would be a godsend for me, if I lost my appetite. (laughing) So you lost your appetite and you were just tired all the time?

CALLER: Yes, and I had a very strong, stabbing pain in my shoulder. It turns out that was from all the extra white cells building up in my spleen. It grew so large it pulled the nerves in my shoulder down and put pain in my shoulder.

RUSH: So you were diagnosed in 1990, December '91 you have a bone marrow transplant, and did you say you're cured or in remission?

CALLER: They never say you're cured.

RUSH: That's what I thought.

CALLER: They always say you're in remission. But one of the neat things about it is since then, since I had the bone marrow transplant, you mentioned it, Rush, you said about Gleevec, all the research has come up with that drug, and if my cancer came back, I would not have to go through another bone marrow transplant. I could just take that Gleevec because it was designed specifically for my type of leukemia.

RUSH: Tell me about the bone marrow transplant. I've not actually seen one. Is it painful? You said you wouldn't have to go through another one. What does that mean?

CALLER: Well, the biggest problem -- it's not the actual transplant. Because when they give you stem cells it's like getting blood, just comes right to your veins. But before that they have to prepare you, and I went through four days of radiation, total, whole body, and four days of chemotherapy.

RUSH: Now you wouldn't have to do that because of the research that produced Gleevec.

CALLER: Right. I wouldn't have to do all the side effects that came from that radiation and the chemotherapy. That made me sterile. That made my eyes so dry I had to keep drops in them all the time. And other things, you know, little things. I won't go through the whole list. But they're all little things and livable.

RUSH: Now you've resumed a normal life?

CALLER: Yes, I'm back to work. I actually carry the mail and deliver letters.

RUSH: You are a mail carrier?

CALLER: Yes I am.

RUSH: Fascinating. What happened to you doesn't happen to everybody. It's happening to more and more people, and that's the point. More and more people are experiencing remission, survival, increased survival rates. But it still gets a lot of people and that's what the research is all about and what the donations are all about, is to try to create more and more Marks from Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

CALLER: When I was diagnosed I had a 15 percent chance. Nowadays you figure they diagnose with the same thing, it's in the 80s.

RUSH: Nothing else needs to be said about the work of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Thanks very much, Mark, and congratulations. I'm really glad you got through today.

CALLER: Thank you, Rush, and thanks to your listeners.

RUSH: You bet.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The number of donors is up 33 percent over last year. We don't announce the dollar amount until the whole thing is over at the end of the weekend. Let me again give you the telephone number: 877-379-8888, the phone number to donate to our Cure-A-Thon or you can do so online at RushLimbaugh.com. I've been trying to figure out how this is happening given the economic circumstances that we're obviously in, if you look at the unemployment numbers and so forth. One would expect here that discretionary dollars and donation dollars like this, charitable dollars would be harder to come by in circumstances like this, but you in this audience are disproving it. Two observations here: We live in an era where scam artists are plentiful. We're living here in the era of Bernie Madoff; supposedly, allegedly, the guy in Texas. We are hearing about the excesses of certain Wall Street executives who bonus themselves out the wazoo when their companies were losing big money, and we are living also in an era where it seems more and more people are being told you can't do it yourself, you need help from somebody else.

Remember the story we had, might have been last Open Line Friday, some people in Kauai lived near a park that many of them actually use to earn a living, some it's just recreation, and the access road to the park was damaged somehow, and the State of Hawaii said, "Well, this is going to take two years and millions of dollars," to fix this access road so the park could be usable again. And the people of Kauai affected by this just took matters into their own hands and in a matter of days fixed the road. Eight days, they fixed the road, and obviously for far less than the millions the State told them it would take that the State said they didn't have even after all this porkulus money has been dished out to the states. So we live in an era where I think people suspect scam artists, when people come along and offer you money or ask for money from you, and say, "I've got a great deal for you," or what have you. When you look at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and you listen to the last call we had from Mark in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, you realize that the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the blood cancers are real, and the progress being made in research to prolonging survivability rates, and even cures, is substantial. And it's real.

We've been doing this for 19 years, and every year we are able to tell you of advances in research such as a new drug this year that has been developed since we were together on the Cure-A-Thon last year. The drug is called Velcade and deals with myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells. Gleevec, which the letter carrier from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, described as something that would prevent him, if he had a reoccurrence -- he's been in remission since 1991 or '92 -- but if he needed a bone marrow transplant he wouldn't need a bone marrow transplant because of Gleevec. So there are substantive measures, progress that we can share with you and testimonial phone calls from people and e-mails from people who have been diagnosed with one of the blood cancers and who have survived longer than people 5 years ago, 10 years ago, and certainly 20 years ago that had these diseases. So it's real. It's not a scam. There's no doubt about it. I think this also meets the test of people doing things themselves. Nobody is using the word investment to you today. Nobody is saying we're going to invest here and this is going to help you and we're not asking for a central clearinghouse. This is not going anywhere but straight to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and then they distribute it as needed, and they don't just do research, medical research and so forth, they provide support services for families of patients who have been diagnosed with one of the blood cancers.

So it's something to put your arms around. You can touch it. It's real. And it works. There's a genuine payoff as a result of this. It's not as though you think you're throwing money away or at something that you'll have no direct knowledge of it working. With the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, you know that it is. I'll just run through some of the statistics again just to show you the degree to which research is working: 900,000 patients and their families are living with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, myeloma; 100,000 more patients are diagnosed every year, and a lot of them late in life. If it happens to somebody who has notoriety, it always stuns you, because this disease knows nothing from race, gender, sex. It just attacks, and these people, these 900,000 and the 100,000 that are going to be diagnosed every year, these people have more than hope going for them, because the work that you all are doing here, the money that you are enabling the work to be done for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is bringing quantifiable change, progress, and especially for kids. Like leukemia. Leukemia is the number one cancer killer of children under the age of 20. The most common form of childhood leukemia now has an overall survival rate today of 88 percent. That's up 1 percent over last year. That equals progress.

Lymphoma is diagnosed in 63,000 Americans every year and 20,000 succumb to it. The five-year survival rate has risen. It was 47 percent in 1974, it's 65 percent today. That is up 2 percent over last year as well. Hodgkin's disease is now considered curable. The five-year survival rate is 86 percent, and it's even higher for those who get the disease when they're under 20. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has a long-term survival rate of 65 percent, of course. But the myeloma, which the new treatment Velcade is used for, your dollars are instrumental in the development of Velcade, by the way, and it's brought the recent gains -- listen to this: 63,000 Americans live with myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells. There are 15,000 new patients diagnosed every year. The disease strikes mostly people over 50, five-year survival rate, 32 percent a couple years ago. It's 35 percent now and climbing with the development of a new treatment called Velcade. Once a year we do this, raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the world's largest voluntary health organization, dedicated not only to funding blood cancer research but education and patient services as well. And I must stress again the geometric progression here of small donations. It doesn't take a lot of people giving a lot of money to make a difference.

With the size of this audience, with the donor percentage here raised 33 percent, the number of donors is up 33 percent. If everybody just gave a dollar in this audience, it would set a record. Of course, everybody is not going to. But there's no difference in the size of a donation. There's no donation too small for you to think that it's irrelevant or not important, because it's going to be added together with everybody else's. It's going to end up being a giant end-of-the-weekend figure, which is what we're all after, and you are exceeding all of our expectations all day long, from the first reporting period 15 minutes after the program began we have been up, and each reporting period after that has been up, it's astounding. Really is. We also have folks, as we always do, high-quality premiums for donations of a certain amount: $70 donation you will get the special commemorative Dittohead T-shirt, one-size-fits-all. It's big. It will fit you, and it's the original Dittohead design that heralded the start of this program's growing influence in 1988. A one-hundred dollar donation entitles you to the Dittohead T-shirt and a special edition EIB golf cap. It's black. It's adjustable, the EIB logo and my signature on the front in silver. And if you manage to get up to $325 or higher, you get an EIB golf shirt that does come sized in small to XX. You can specify. The T-shirt's in black as well. Get the cap as well. Both are black to commemorate the Obama economy. So all of us this is explained at RushLimbaugh.com when you check in there. And again the phone number, 877-379-8888. And thank you again already. This is mind-boggling what is happening here today, with all things considered, period. Mind-boggling, regardless.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: All right, I have to think about this. I have just been informed... For those you who are regular listeners, you know that there are two women, they're sisters, that live in the state of Washington who have been regular participants and donors here of the Cure-A-Thon. And they have issued a challenge. By the way, these two women, they arranged for a carving of a pelican -- the pelican is my all-time favorite bird. They arranged for the carving of a pelican that is in the Southern Command. We keep it here in the public lobby of the EIB Broadcast Complex. But when we start the Cure-A-Thon here at the beginning of the program, I always make a donation myself. I never ask people to do something I haven't done, things like this. I also mention it one time, but I've now got to mention it again. My donation started off with $250,000. Now, our two friends from the state of Washington have issued a really difficult challenge. And that is that if I will increase my $250,000 to $300,000, they will match it. So I'm going to think about this. I've had a tough tax season (chuckling). No, of course we'll do that. I don't have to think about that. I'll up the 250 to 300 if our two ladies from the State of Washington are going to match it. So that's done. I'm almost speechless here in trying to describe this to you. We don't give out the dollar numbers until it's all over. But, I mean, long ago we passed into seven figures. You people are so great. It just has me in awe. It really does.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Even without tabulating my donation of $300,000 matched by the sisters from the state of Washington, we are so far ahead of last year that is unbelievable. I want to stress, folks, I was telling the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society people before we started this, "It's a down economy. A lot of people are uncertain about their own economic future, and I don't know what to expect this year. We'll do our best." Once again, you have just blown everybody's socks off. You have so far surpassed last year in terms of the number of donors and the dollar amount raised that it's just incredible, and there's no amount of thanks that anybody can offer you verbally here that would suffice. But take solace and take joy in knowing that every dollar you donate is leading to significant advances toward the cure of these diseases.

And before the cures are reached survivability rates for all of the blood cancers are increasing at rapid rates. A new treatment for myeloma, Velcade, since we were last with you at last year's Cure-A-Thon. But the survival rate for lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, myeloma, leukemia, are all on the increase -- and this is something that you can grasp. It's real. It's something that you can say that you've had a significant role in. And I know... We've been talking to the folks at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society who are not here in Florida; they're in New York. I've been talking to them in the IFB during the commercial breaks, and they're as excited and stunned as I've ever seen them in 19 years. And it's all because of you. One person called here and said, "Thanks for all the work you do."

And, of course, most hosts would say: "Well, you're welcome," but, you know, really, it's not hard here to sing the praise of a great organization and ask you to continue the progress, the great works that they're doing. All of the thanks and all of the attaboys and attagirls are aimed at you. You've come through once again, demonstrating what we all know: the true compassion and true hands-on, take-care-of-something, try-to-fix-it-ourselves attitudes, are found in the best of the American people. It's still there, and I could not be more honored to have people like you make up this audience. I cannot thank you enough. Again, the phone number and website are both open all weekend to take your donations. Some people will not hear this until their podcasts later tonight or through the weekend. And you might want to go later than today if you want to think about it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Once again, folks, thank you from the bottom of our hearts, from me, all of us here at the EIB Network and those with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Have a wonderful weekend. You deserve it.

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