RUSH: Let’s get an update on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Radiothon from last Friday, which was — if you were here, and you recall — an incredible three hours. Last week, particularly the last three or four days of last week were just over the top for me personally; in terms of the inspiration, the fun, and the meaningfulness of it all. We capped it with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Radiothon, and all during the program I kept marveling at how far ahead we were from last year, and we were all sort of surprised and gratified about that because of the, uh, challenging economic circumstances this year as opposed to last, with the price of staples up: gasoline and food. You know they’re starting to ration food out in California in certain stores? Because there’s not enough of it! They say it’s the dollar is low and the fuel prices are high, and of course they tag on toward the end: Biofuels might be also causing a problem with the use of crops that we eat now going to make ethanol and other sort of thing.
But even despite all that, we ended up with a total take of $2,519,643 with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Radiothon last week. You want to know how impressive and how wonderful this is? You might think that we spend three hours doing this — and it was the three-hour radio program and telethon, and we kept the numbers and the websites open, the donation lines open throughout the weekend. I think they’re still open today, too. But not all of the program, not the entire three hours is devoted to discussing the fundraising. We might have spent a total of 45 minutes on it out of the three hours, and out of that 45 minutes where it was mentioned and the phone number was given and the address and the website for online donating, we raised $2,519,643.
Look at it this way: in one day! So thank you all profoundly once again. Last year, the total was $2,358,420, plus there was a stand-alone donation that came in from an individual last year after we finished. That individual donated a million. So you could actually, if you want to sum it up, the total last year was $3.3m. But we don’t look at it that way, because it was a standalone, came later. It was not part of the audience totals. The audience totals this year $2,519,643, last year $2,358,420. So, thank you all very much once again. A successful Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon. If I have time today, I had a lot of e-mails over the weekend from people who were reacting both to the leukemia Radiothon, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Radiothon and the pope’s visit last week, some of these e-mails are just great, and if I have time today I’ll sprinkle them in, as well as phone calls.
RUSH: This is San Francisco, Jeff. Are you a refugee?
CALLER: Yeah, absolutely, here in the capital of bitterness. Rush, I wanted to thank you for your Cure-A-Thon and to testify as to what a great organization the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is. I was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia last September.
RUSH: That’s a stubborn one.
CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. It came at a really difficult time because I’d been ill for over a year, and really hadn’t been getting any kind of a diagnosis. Then I found myself in the intensive care unit with a subdural hematoma.
RUSH: What were your symptoms? I mean, it might be helpful to people. You’re suffering from a blood cancer; you don’t even know for a long time that that’s what you have. What did you feel like?
CALLER: Well, I just kept getting tireder and tireder and tireder and my legs hurt, and I couldn’t sleep well. I felt like I got no rest at all. At first they thought it was anemia, and they treated me for that, and nothing got better. It wasn’t until I was hospitalized that they started doing all of a sudden more sophisticated blood tests, and finally identified that I have something called the Philadelphia chromosome, which is the indicator.
CALLER: And thanks to the… I mean, I don’t have much family at all, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society really became like family. Once I had contacted them, they gave me all the information that I needed. They called me to check on how I was doing. They put me in touch with actually the top leukemia, CML leukemia doctor in the country is out here in San Francisco. That’s the one benefit of being here. They’re responsible for the development of some drugs which have really increased the life expectancy from five years.
RUSH: Well, how are you feeling now?
CALLER: Well, I’m still ill. The biggest problem is not being able to sleep well. I was taking the medication, and it was seeming to have an effect, but it also had an effect on lowering my blood platelet count. So I’ve been taken off it temporarily. I’m due to have another bone barrow biopsy on Wednesday, this Wednesday. But the doctors, you know, they’re very encouraging. And I see there have been some tremendous advances in the treatment of it. In fact, there’s one drug called Gleevec, which was heralded in TIME magazine a few years ago, and since that drug’s been introduced as a treatment — largely due to the funding by the Leukemia Society — there’s been a 97% success rate.
RUSH: Exactly. We’ve been mentioning Gleevec here during the Radiothons for many years. Well, it’s a great endorsement that you gave. Sorry that you had to learn about it the way you did. Our prayers are with you and we wish you the best. Hang in.