The 5th annual Drive Fore a Cure golf tournament was held on Aug. 2 at Fox Hills in Plymouth, Mich., with 288 golfers raising funds to support The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Ford Director of Global Manufacturing Quality Adrian Vido led the effort, and motivated Ford colleagues from Southeastern Michigan as well as Ontario to participate, raising a record $125,000, bringing their five-year total to over $280,000.
LLS has local chapters throughout the United States and Canada, and each chapter offers programs and events to help their local community cope with cancer. “The fact is that blood cancer knows no borders. Over 1 million Americans and over 90,000 Canadians are currently living with blood cancers, and it is the third leading cause of cancer deaths,” said Vido. “The opportunity to contribute back to the community and make a difference is what it is all about,” Vido continued, “knowing that the funds we are raising supports research that is saving lives.”
Two local blood cancer survivors, Nicole, age 8, and Kyle, age 6, are perfect examples. Nicole was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 2008 when she was just 4 years old. She underwent 2 ½ years of treatment including chemotherapy, spinal taps, bone marrow biopsies and countless hospital stays. After her leukemia relapsed in May 2011, Nicole received a bone marrow transplant. She has been cancer free for over 200 days. Throughout this entire ordeal, Nicole and her parents have remained in high spirits, and they have never given up. Nicole’s mom, Shelly, has appreciated the personal connection with Adrian throughout it all. “Mr. Vido was the first person I contacted when I found out that Nicole relapsed. He always checks in with me to see how Nicole is doing,” said Shelly. “The funds raised by Drive Fore a Cure mean so much.”
Kyle has a special connection with the Ford family, as both his parents are Ford employees. Kyle was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APML) in September 2008. He was almost 3 years old when he started his treatments. Kyle had three rounds of chemotherapy during his 40 day stay in the hospital, and was taking up to 11 pills a day. He also endured weekly blood draws, monthly cancer visits and a year of oral chemotherapy medications. He finished his treatments on Jan. 5, 2010 and has resumed all the activities he loves so much. Now 6, he enjoys playing T-ball, biking, swimming and fishing.
Adrian and his group will not be satisfied until all blood cancer patients can be cured, and are already planning the next Drive Fore a Cure for 2013. They truly are going further for a cure!