Lehigh Valley

Restaurant benefit to help fund blood cancer research

Restaurant benefit to help fund blood cancer research

An estimated 1.2 million Americans have some form of blood cancer. 

A benefit Friday night is just one of a series of events over the next several weeks to help beat the disease.

"Actually, I found the lump on my neck while sitting in traffic waiting for the light to change," said Robert Singley, who was diagnosed with tonsil cancer 10 years ago.

"I had young kids. I was really concerned about my future," said Singley, now 54.

For Linora Gula, the curse of cancer came about on what should have been the happiest day of her life. Her wedding photo is the last one taken with her father.

"Lost my father to lymphoma. He died a week after I got married," she said.

Both Singley and Gula are part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's man and woman of the year campaign.

"I thought it was the best thing I could do as a tribute to my dad," Gula said.

During the 10-week campaign, which ends May 29, 12 candidates host a series of events to raise money to fight the blood disease.

The man and woman who raise the most are the winners. The total goal is $250,000.

So far, Gula has had mixers and a cook-off and has raised close to $15,000.

Singley and his wife, Ann, are holding a bachelor and bachelorette auction Friday night at restaurant Blue.

The is the fourth year the Lehigh Valley has been involved in a national campaign. Pamela Formica, the program's head, said the campaign raised $170,000 the two previous years.

"I'm very confident we can get to $250,000," she said of this year's campaign.

Both Singley and Gula know any amount raised is a step closer to the ultimate goal.

"Total eradication of blood cancer," said Singley, who is now cancer-free.

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