A group of Cinnaminson women have rallied around a co-worker whose 1-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a rare blood disease and plan to raise nearly $60,000 for those suffering from similar illnesses.
Jean Klebet said she and a couple of her co-workers—also Cinnaminson residents—were grief-stricken when they learned of their colleague Samantha’s daughter’s diagnosis of Langerhan’s Cell Histiocytosis, a disease similar to leukemia. The women all work for a federal agency based in Philadelphia.
“I was just looking at, ‘What can I do?’” recalled Klebet.
Samantha, who lives in the Philadelphia area, is a runner, Klebet said, so the women decided they would participate in the New Jersey Marathon at the Shore next April. They signed up with Team in Training, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's endurance sports training program, to raise money for the organization in Samantha and her family’s honor.
It was a relatively modest effort at first, explained Klebet. But they started talking to their friends about it, and soon a team of four or five became 20-plus.
“Right now, we are the biggest team running with Team in Training,” she said.
The members named their team “Relentless 4 Raegan,” after Samantha’s daughter, Raegan, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
“(Samantha’s) reaction has just been generally overwhelmed by the support,” said Klebet. “She’s very grateful that people care this much. They’re strangers.”
The generosity made sense to Klebet though: “I’m of the opinion that people want to help, they just have to be asked.”
In addition to sponsorships for runners, Relentless 4 Raegan is raising money by raffling off chances to win tickets to the Super Bowl (which will be held this year at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford). It’s $10 for a raffle ticket for a chance to win: two Super Bowl tickets (300-level end zone/corner) and two pre-game party tickets.
The team is trying to raise $57,000 and has so far raised nearly $6,500. The race will be held April 27 in Long Branch.
Visit the team’s page to make a donation. Those wishing to donate can also visit the team’s blog at www.relentless4raegan.blogspot.com and select "Shop 4 a Cure." By buying from the listed advertisers, the team will receive a portion of their purchases.
Go here to purchase and promote raffle ticket sales. (Under the checkout questions, select “TNT” as the event you wish to support and enter Relentless 4 Raegan as the participant’s name for the event.)The team will also hold a beef and beer fundraiser on Jan. 18. More details to follow.