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The 23rd Annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon: Our Focus is Survival

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Our focus today, ladies and gentlemen, is about survival.

Survival. For 23 years we have been doing what we can and you have been phenomenal, folks. Good economic times or bad economic times, it has not mattered. You have continued to shock and surprise everybody involved with your generosity and your love and your compassion. The amount of money that has been raised here in less than three hours a year, one day, less than three hours a year, phenomenal. There's no other fundraising effort with anywhere near this kind of efficiency. All of the efforts that you've made are paying off in various areas. And that's why the theme of the show today is about survival.

Now, imagine, you're in a doctor's office, and you hear, "Leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, blood cancer." These are not words that anybody wants to hear, especially if they are about your children. Blood cancers strike thousands of children, thousands of adults, in this country. Survival in this battle is measured in as little as hree- and five-year periods of time. Some patients can and do enter what's called long-term survival. That's entirely different than a cure.

"Cure" is a word that you really don't hear spoken much by people fighting these cancers. We use it because that's our objective. But it is tricky, as everybody knows. A cure is what this program is after. A cure for the blood cancers is what the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is after. This is a battle that goes in fits and starts, breakthroughs, setbacks, and it's unending, never stops. A doctor once said, "Our goal is a cure, but we don't use that word." Now, that's not to say that a cure is impossible. The most common form of childhood leukemia is curable now, but so many of the blood cancers are not.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fights every day to prolong life, to improve outcomes, to allow patients to live as much life as possible. Now, I mentioned earlier that the survival rate, battle measured in three- and five-year periods of time. That doesn't sound like much, and it isn't, until it happens to you. Until it happens to you, to a member of your family, then three to five years is the blessing and your entire attitude on your life changes. Everybody goes through life with the rigors, the ups and downs of each and every day. So few people -- and it's understandable, and this is not a criticism; it's just the way it is. So few people ever really stop to consider how precious a human life is, until you get the diagnosis that yours or a loved one's is about to be curtailed. And again, that's not a criticism, but it's a reality.

Life is busy. There are daily concerns and obligations that have to be met, and to take time to think about how precious and special a human life is that you only get one, and that every wasted minute is lost. You can't get it back. And so many people get bogged down in the big scheme of things, which at the time seem huge, petty little depressions, disturbances. They all seemed big at the time when they happen, be they problems you're having with relationships with people or your boss or you're having self-doubts about your career or what have you. We all get mired in these things and we all think about ourselves. We all focus on ourselves. And we all think about how we feel and what can we do to make ourselves feel better. It's natural. It's the way life is lived.

Then, all of a sudden, you're at the doctor, and you hear leukemia. You hear lymphoma, myeloma, blood cancer. Then the next thing you hear is, "Three to five years," and that time period changed dramatically, the way you look at it. At that moment, you determine that you are going to make the most of every day because now you are told that it's finite. Even though we all know our lives are finite, 'til it happens to you or somebody you know and love, this kind of prognosis, three to five years, it's heart-stopping.

You go through all kinds of emotions. You get depressed, feel sorry for yourself. After you go through that, then you feel blessed that they're telling you, "Even with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, blood cancer, you might have three to five years, and it could be even more than that depending on the status of the research." Those three to five years become crucial. Those three to five years become a blessing. They become so important. People change their perspective and get rid of the petty distractions in life and start focusing on making every moment matter.

Because a sense of focus descends after a diagnosis like this. Very important moments still have the chance to take place for the patient and for the family, like a chance to see a recital or a school play or a graduation, the birth of a child or a grandchild, a Little League or a soccer game. For parents, it's a chance to still have long talks -- meaningful talks that the son or daughter may not be old enough to appreciate now -- about fear, about loss, about never giving up, about being the best you can be, facing reality head on.

You have no choice when you hear, "Three to five years." You have no choice. You have to face it. It's amazing how people step up. It's amazing the people who are diagnosed, how they step up. It's amazing how their families step up after the initial shock, after the "Oh, how sad." Everybody goes through that, then everybody steps up, and you start having these conversations with your kids that you may have been putting off. You didn't know the proper way to do it.

You feared the kid would think you're just an old fuddy-duddy nerd; you don't know what the kid's life is like. But you don't have to worry about that anymore because you've only got three to five years to tell them what you really want them to know. You've got three to five years to tell 'em you love 'em. You've got three to five years to tell 'em what their future holds. You've got three to five years to tell 'em how to best be what they want to be. You've got three to five years to soak in as much of their lives and yours as you can.

And all during these three to five years, you never give up and you hope that three to five becomes six to ten, and you hope the six to ten becomes 12 to 20. You hear about all the research that's taken place via the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and you begin to think three to five years could be more than that. You ask the doctors, "Is it possible it can be more than three to five?" The doctors are gonna be honest with you about whatever the answer is when you say, "Could it be more than three to five?"

You'll find out what the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is doing. You're going to find out what the latest research is in what they tell you you've been diagnosed with. You're gonna do everything you can to make those three to five years even longer, and you're gonna do everything you can to make sure those three to five years matter. It's an amazing thing to see, human nature in this way, for those of you to whom this never happens.

But you know people to whom it's happened. You've seen this. You really see how much they, all of a sudden, become interested in the research and the fundraising, which enables the research, which makes it possible. That's where people like you, at the end of this train, really make it all possible. Your donations here and other places everywhere during the course of the year, enable that three to five years to maybe be four to six. You never know, but that's the objective.

The objective is to make, "Three to five years," never uttered anymore.

Now, the doctors say we're not near that, and nobody is dangling false hope here. But everybody does end up thinking positively, getting involved. Now, in addition to funding research, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has also spent over $120 million in co-pay assistance to qualifying families with financial difficulties. They were acutely aware of just what families are battling with these diseases. A huge number of people there have been touched by these diseases.

Everybody I know at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, they've been there since the beginning, all 20 years. They've all been touched by this. That's why they're there. That's why they do what they do. They've been touched by it. Some of them have been given these great prognoses and diagnostics and forecasts, and they want to share that with as many people as possible, and they're all part of the world's largest volunteer nonprofit health organization dedicated to wiping out these killers.

They're nonprofit, volunteer. Everybody involved here at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is committed to this war, and they're winning, and they report more progress every year we do the Cure-A-Thon. You too can invest in this fight against blood cancer and help save lives. Again, it's 877-379-8888 and RushLimbaugh.com the website. It's @RushLimbaugh or @Limbaugh on Twitter and Facebook.com/RushLimbaugh. Let's get started, folks!

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: As usual, my friends, we are offering premiums this year for donations. The quality of premium is determined by the size of the donation. I'll spell that out for you in the next segment. But I just want to remind you, as I do each and every year, that I do not consider my time to be worth anything toward the advancement of a cure. Anybody could sit here and give out the phone number and ask you to call and donate. That's not gonna help find a cure. I never ask people to do things I don't do.

Sometimes these TV telethon people make it look like they're devoting so much time to the cause, and you never find out whether they actually support it or not. Well, I do. I always lead off with a donation, which I'm gonna do this year. I'm going to do it a little bit different, though. I'm not gonna announce the specifics of my donation. Just trust that I'm right in there with you leading the way. I may announce it at some point during the broadcast today. But I'm right in there with you, contributing what it's going to take to get to a cure, and that's money.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The telephone number is 877-379-8888. Over the years, it has been fascinating to watch how people donate. They used to be almost exclusively over the telephone, and then the website started to be most popular. Now it's nip and tuck between the two. RushLimbaugh.com, go there. It's all set up. Simple as pie.

We've also set up donation pages at Twitter and Facebook. We got a couple Twitter pages: @RushLimbaugh or @Limbaugh. Those are the two real ones. There are a bunch of frauds and phonies and fakes out there, but don't go to them. It's @RushLimbaugh or @Limbaugh and our Facebook page is Facebook.com/RushLimbaugh. Now, here's a quick summary of the premiums. For a donation of between $75 and $99... By the way, when I go through these, sometimes I feel a little guilty. Because the floor is $75 to get a premium.

Every year, I really want to make a point that these categories here are not structured so as to say, "The minimum that they care about is $75." That's not the case at all. That's just the starting point where it makes sense to award a premium as a portion of that donation. But if $5 is the max for you or even $1, it doesn't matter. That's perfectly fine, and it's as appreciated as any other donation is. With the size of this audience, if everybody just gave $1, we'd set an all-time charity record for anything.

If everybody just gave a $1.

So the numbers of people we're talking about here every year in this audience -- you, who donate -- is incredible. The multiplier effect is high.

END TRANSCRIPT

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