RUSH: I just heard that Donald Trump was driving around, folks, and listening to the program. He has sent in $25,000 to the Leukemia Society Cure-A-Thon. Thank you, Mr. Trump.
RUSH: Look, I don't like giving out statistics and stuff early on, 'cause I don't want to change. But this is just great. We're running 15 to 20% of last year already, and it's just amazing. I don't know. I've just run out of ways to say "thanks." I'm just in constant awe of those of you in this audience.
You know what I tell people who have asked me over the course of the years what they think the secret to success the program is? I said, "Well, it's a good show. When people find a good show, they like it and they listen to it." But there's more than that, and I'll tell you why this program is feared and envied at the same time. It is because of this bond of loyalty that you all have for this program and for me and all of us here.
It's been unshakable.
I mean, even I have tried my hardest to break this bond, and I can't, thank God. It's just amazing. It is unlike any other audience in media. There is a direct-connection bond that goes beyond the normal reasons a program has an audience (i.e., they like it, it entertains them, it informs). There's more here than just that, and there always has been. It's why my dad told me something.
I guess it was in the first couple years and I did something. I cracked a joke that nobody thought was a joke. They believed me and it got in some trouble. He said, "Son, you're gonna have to remember: They believe you, Son. They trust you. You can't play with 'em like that unless you tell 'em first. You just can't." He was exactly, dead-on right.
So here we are in our 24th year, and everybody thinks we ought to be tapped out. Everybody thinks that by this much time, whatever anybody has to give, they've given. Whatever interest they have to give, it's gone. Twenty-four years, a quarter of a century, that's a long time. Yet here you are, outdistancing last year. It just continually has me in awe, and constant appreciation.
If I may dig deep here... I don't want to embarrass anybody, but I sent a friend of mine a note. As you get older, in my case you become more philosophical about life. Success is not at all what I thought it would be. Ah, some of it is, but there's so much I didn't expect, didn't anticipate. Nobody can. You dream about it when you're on the ladder climbing up. You imagine what it's gonna be like.
Naturally you tell yourself wonderful stories that are oriented in dreams. In my case you dream about it, but you just don't have the knowledge or the experience of a success track to actually know what it's gonna mean, how it's gonna manifest itself. One of the things that I thought 25 years ago, 30 years ago, 35 years ago, or when I was 16 and started dreaming about becoming successful in radio, I figured if I pulled it off...
I mean, I always knew I was gonna be top dog, but not for 25 years. You don't think about things like that. You just think about hitting it, and that's where one of the pitfalls comes in. So I thought that the longer the success track lasts, the easier things get. Not that you phone it in, but just that the pressure subsides, because you've already proven yourself. Being successful, being at the pinnacle means you've proven it.
I'm here to tell you it's the exact opposite. I was telling a friend of mine in e-mail today, "After 25 years of the program, I have never felt more performance pressure than I do today, every day." You know, when I say, "The program meets and surpasses all audience expectations," I know that's what's at stake, and the expectations are high. And if they're not met, it's eminently noticeable.
Somebody that's not very good at something, who doesn't do something very well, when they don't even do it as well as they normally, do you hardly notice it. Somebody who's thought to do something really well and doesn't quite get there, it's a big thing. "Wow. Something didn't sound right today," or what have you. It's all good. Don't misunderstand.
I'm not complaining about it. It's just that it's not what I thought it was gonna be. I thought things would slow down, that there would be a little bit more stopping, smelling the roses, enjoying myself. It's none of this. It's exact opposite, and it's not because of any competitive awareness that there's a whole bunch of people out there that are striving to have what I have. It's not that.
It's about making sure that all of this time that you have spent here and all of the effort you have made to help this program succeed is not dishonored. It's all contained in the universe. All this pressure is contained in the universe of this program. It has nothing to do with anybody else. It has to do totally with making sure that if you're gonna spend the time and the investment to come here every day, that you're not wasting it.
So the effort to make sure that happens, the pressure that's attached to it -- the performance pressure, not life pressure, not, "Oh, I think I'm gonna lose my job" pressure, nothing like that. Just the performance pressure of expectation is higher than ever, and it gets even more intense the longer it goes, and that's the surprise. I thought it would lessen the intensity and so forth, but it doesn't.
That's because I still take you it as seriously as I ever did. It's as important, if not more so, than ever, even after 24 years. And this Cure-A-Thon embodies all of that. Here we are in our 24th year, 24 straight years of me asking you to help people with blood cancers. I'm in there, too. I don't ask you to do something I don't do. But nevertheless I'm still asking you to make donations to a cause that I happen to believe in.
I know a lot of people affected by it. I know a lot of people in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and have known them for 24 years. They all have personal attachment to the cause. They've all been personally affected by it. So it's a lot of pressure for me to ask people for money. I don't normally do it. I don't expect people to ask me, either, the same way.
I do one day a year, yet here you are and you come through. And every year, barring one I think for 9/11, you beat the previous year, no matter what your economic circumstances are. This is the closest I can come, I guess, to thanking you and telling you how aware I am of what you have done and continue to do and how much it is appreciated. It's appreciated on so many different levels.
I hope that each and every one of you who have the chance to donate and do each and every year, get -- even if it's just for a brief moment -- a real sense of calm and achievement and realization that you are part of something really meaningful and good. Because you all are. As I said at the opening the program an hour ago, it's great. We got a call from Donald Trump.
He's driving around, he heard this, and he wanted to send in $25,000 and wanted to know the address. That is great, but not everybody can, and it's not expected. The $25,000s from Trump or people like that, those are bonuses. The people that make it work, just like the people make the country work, are you who've got $5 or $10 or $25, $500, whatever.
This audience is so large, it's so participatory, that it doesn't take a lot of money from a few people to hit the nut. It takes a little bit from a lot of people. There's nothing that's too little. There's no donation that's too small. So many people think, "Ah, I'd be embarrassed. All I've got is five bucks. I don't want to put a $5 charge on a credit card or $10. I don't want to be embarrassed."
Don't be embarrassed by that. You've got to realize that there are millions like you, and that it all adds up, and it's the end result that counts. Everybody participating in it has the right to really feel good. Look at what you have done on this day for the past 24 years. Now, this audience is largely made up of conservatives. Not all of you are conservatives, but large number of you are.
You all listen to the show and know and have heard me describe what makes this country great and what makes this audience great and who I believe are the people who actually make this country work -- i.e., you. And in the course of my time during the Cure-A-Thon, you have answered the bell each and every time. You've done it coming out of recessions; you've done it coming out of war, natural disasters, dysfunctional government.
You've never quit.
In spite of whatever challenges you face in your life, you always have been there for this. And in doing that, you give this country hope every day. You give those afflicted by these blood cancers the hope they can see tomorrow and turn survivability into livability. There aren't any cures yet, but what are counted as survival rates are now actually lives being lived, in some cases fully.
I've been doing Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon for 24 years, and when I started this, the prognosis for people with these diseases was grim in many cases. Children were robbed of even seeing their fifth birthday. Parents, too, facing a different form of the disease, sometimes never saw the day of their kid's fifth birthday either. It's a shocking thing being told that you or your child or a loved one has cancer.
It's devastating. But like the patients battling to hang on, you in this audience haven't given up, either. You haven't said, "Come on, Rush. Move on to something else. We've been there, done that." I've never heard that from anybody. I've never heard it. The Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd, amazingly, shuts up on this day. I've never heard from them. I've never gotten angry emails.
I will now since I'm teasing them, but I've never heard from the Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd on our leukemia radiothon days. Everybody's there. It really is great. It's because of people like you that there's any progress at all. Every year we do it, there's more good news to report about the fight, which I'll have some of that as the program unfolds today. So this year and today we're gonna fight some more because the diseases have not been defeated.
Some of them are in retreat.
Patients aren't just now surviving. They are living.
Again, it's not anybody but you collectively who have made this happen. So the number is 877-379-8888 if you want to call to make a donation. You can also do it online at RushLimbaugh.com. Just find the leukemia radiothon button there to click on. It'll take you where you need to go. Here is the list of premiums. For a $75 to $99 donation, you get a T-shirt, one-size-fits-all. It's an XL.
It's a 2014 special T-shirt, four color, 100% cotton, all-natural fibers, with sort of a 1960s design. For $100 to $374 we add a golf cap to the T-shirt, khaki-colored golf cap with the signature and the EIB logo stitched on the front. They're not printed, not screened on or any of that. For $375 and over, you get a golf shirt on top of the golf cap and the Rush T-shirt. The golf shirt is sizable, comes in small and XX.
The color this year is kiwi green, and again the EIB logo is stitched on the left chest and my signature is on the sleeve. The shirt comes with the T-shirt and the aforementioned cap, so you are fully outfitted.
RUSH: Folks, look, I've said as much as I can. The only thing I can try to do try to do is change how, and that's been the ongoing struggle. Well, it's not a struggle. It's a challenge to properly express my personal gratitude to each and every one of you who have participated in the Cure-A-Thon today or any of the previous 23 years to cure the blood cancers of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, multiple myeloma.
They're dreadful, but there's progress being made left and right. The theme today has been the vast increases in not just survivability -- that's a given -- but livability. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, in addition to funding research, do what they can in funding care for families who have family member affected by this.
Nobody can help every family, obviously, but they do what they can, and the more they collect, the more they're able to do. What you've done today is, again, just over-the-top amazing. You know, this audience is largely made up of conservatives, but not everybody is. So you all listen to the program, and you've all heard me describe what I think it is that makes the country great and what makes the audience great and what makes the country work.
And in my opinion, it's you.
People like you make this country work in a host of different ways, but basically just the way you live your lives and the examples that you set, the way you're trying to raise your kids, resisting the temptations as best you can and shielding your kids from those at the same time. And then in the midst of all that, you hear a plea to help people who maybe have a disease you don't.
Nobody in your family does, but nevertheless you hear a plea from me to participate in our effort to cure the blood cancers. So you hear me give the phone number, 877-379-8888, or the website, RushLimbaugh.com. PayPal is part of the donation payment mechanism again this year. So it's easy. It's easy to make the phone call. It's easy to go to the website.
But sometimes it's not easy to part with the donation. Times are tough for a lot of people, and yet every year you come through. Every year you come through in larger numbers. This year we've got an increased number of donors as well. That kind of growth is unparalleled, particularly in an enterprise that has been underway for 24 years, and we do it in essentially three hours.
It's one three-hour period a year.
When I started doing this 24 years ago, the prognosis for people with these blood cancers was grim in many cases. A lot of children didn't see their fifth birthday, and a lot of parents with a different form of the disease never saw their kid's fifth birthday, either, one way or the other. Any time the doctor walks in the waiting room and says, "We found out what it was.
"Your son has cancer. It's leukemia," across town in another hospital, a doctor is heard saying, "I'm sorry, your daughter has lymphoma." With that shocking bad news, what we're trying to do is have it tempered somewhat with the realization that people in this audience are gonna get this diagnosis at some point in their lives, and they're gonna remember having heard this day one year.
They're going to know that there has been money donated to the cause, and they're gonna be confident. It's the way that people are helped here is immeasurable. Again, you may never meet the people you help, but you should know that they're there and have the most heartfelt appreciation for what you do.