September 11, 2013

Imerman Angels & Guest Angel Blogger, Lee!

On this day, September 11, it seems fitting that I have my NYC angel, Lee,  as a guest blogger. God bless all the men and women who lost their lives on 9-11. And God bless all of those fighting the battle against cancer. 

For those who do not know, Lee is my Imerman Angel. IA is a great non-profit that pairs cancer survivors with those battling cancer. They pair you on the same cancer type, surgeries you may have had, chemo treatments and even similar life/ family situations if possible. 

Although we don't correspond every day, I am extremely grateful for Lee and the support she has given me throughout my battle. We became fast friends! I am blessed to have her in my life.

Here is Lee's story on her bout with Colon Cancer and her thoughts on Imerman Angels! 


October 2011 - two bouts of terrible stomach pains landed me in the hospital, no diagnosis. After 3 weeks of testing, still no answer. I was scared but that was nothing in comparison to what I was about to be faced with.  Finally after my stomach calmed down, a colonoscopy was scheduled. When I opened my eyes, everyone had a blank stare. A polyp, the size of a golf ball, was found. Surgery was scheduled.  Biopsies revealed stage 3 colon cancer, and 6 of 26 lymph nodes removed during surgery had cancer cells in them.

I went directly to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. I quickly started folfox 5, a 12 session chemotherapy. During my 6 months of chemo I kept a log of my daily ups and downs. Noting when side effects hit and what helped or what made them worse.

Thinking it through, what I needed during treatment was questions answered, no matter how small or silly they seemed, someone to lean on whose been through it all, and a friend that truly gets it. I knew others would have the same needs.

Three months after my last colon cancer treatment, my good friend, a lymphoma survivor, asked if I would get involved with Imerman Angels. I didn't hesitate, knowing how alone you are through treatment, even with many supporters.

I wanted to help anyone. I contacted Imerman and they recorded my profile and told me they may be in touch if there's  a match. Approximately 4 months later they reached out to me describing a woman with a very similar diagnosis and treatment regiment.  Not even 24 hours later Linda and I were connected.

We quickly bonded and oh what a feeling! It's incredible how 2 complete strangers can relate to each other. Cancer is such an awful thing so when you meet someone suffering as you did you just want to hold their hand.

It's such a blessing to have gone through something so horrific, and have something so positive come out of it.

Being an Angel gives me the opportunity to pay it forward. To help someone who is as scared as I was.  To assure them that they're not alone. They're surrounded by so many people that are routing for them. I want to let them know, this can be done.
Team Lee rallied at Cycle for Survival in honor of Lee! Here is Lee with one of her sons.


  1. Lee - thank you very much for paying it forward. I am so glad to have heard of your organization and wish my sisters and I had known about it when our Mom was going through her treatments. You are an Angel!

  2. Linda,
    First of all congratulations on a truly amazing, brutally honest and happily refreshing blog. Your candor and skill as a writer, especially in the face of all this cancer bs, are amazing.

    My name is Dana, and I'm that angel Lee's sister.

    Im so happy that you have her and that she is helping you along through this. Lee is nothing short of amazing. Equal parts little orphan Annie, Angelina Jolie, Rocky and Jack Russell terrier. She is effervescent, radiant and seemingly just the person you want to have by your side no matter what situation you find yourself in.... and I really mean that.

    I believe that God (or someone, or something) sends us angels. To help us through the dirty laundry of life. You two got oversized loads, but I also believe that we are only given what we can handle. When Lee was diagnosed I was so angry that it was she who had to suffer. She was always so...GOOD. In every sense. But I also realized that out of all of us (five sisters, two brothers) she was the only one who could handle it. Pull it off. Tell cancer to shove it and stay the hell out. And she did.

    Days weren't always sunny, but Lee always had a sunny outlook. I know she is sharing that with you. Her laughter is contagious, soak it up. Believe in her, believe in you.

    And for all the others that are suffering, just remember that you are one day closer to being healthy. And we are one day closer to a cure.

    Lee's mantra was fight to win. Leave no cancer cell standing.
    God speed


  3. Thank you, Dana! Lee is amazing and I'm so very grateful to have her on my side!