Quadruple Match Opportunity - The Lutz family

Quadruple Match Opportunity - The Lutz family

An image of Alysssa smiling while holding up a white lantern with a group of people. Overlayed with the text: "Make a difference where it truly matters. 4x Quadruple your impact today!"

Help change the blood cancer experience today! 

Until April 14th, the Lutz family, in honour of their son Jay – a survivor of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) – has committed to matching your donation 4 times, up to $100,000!

Your gift today – quadrupled by the Lutz family – will help fund crucial services and resources supporting children and their families throughout the entirety of their blood cancer experience.

Give today, transform tomorrow.

$100,000 matching opportunity

Alyssa’s story

Alyssa has been a staff member with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada since 2013. She is currently Campaign Lead of Field Operations.

Joey and alyssa in a hospital room. Joey is kissing the top of Alyssa's head, which has lost hair due to treatment.In the summer of 2002, at just 11 years old, Alyssa developed a rash on her legs. The rash would mysteriously clear up, only to reappear. Frustrated with the lack of answers from a clinic doctor, Alyssa’s mother took her to see a pediatrician. Suspecting Alyssa had an allergy, the pediatrician recommended allergy medication and suggested making an appointment to identify the allergy.

Alyssa’s mother was unconvinced, however, that the rash was just an allergy. Alyssa was very pale and had been repeatedly getting sick for several months. Finally, a blood test confirmed anemia. After a subsequent blood test, it was becoming obvious to the doctors that Alyssa could potentially have leukemia.  

Alyssa was sent for a bone marrow aspiration on August 21, 2002. By the afternoon, her entire world had been turned upside down. She was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). At the time, the prognosis wasn’t very good and the survival rates were low. This type of blood cancer is most common in adults over 60, and Alyssa was just 11 years old. The treatment alone could result in death.


Pact made; challenge accepted

After the diagnosis, Alyssa’s older brother Joey came to sit with her in the hospital. Unbeknownst to their parents, they made a pact: Joey would join an elite hockey team and Alyssa would beat her cancer. Joey knew his sister couldn’t resist a challenge against him, and that challenge fueled Alyssa throughout her cancer experience.

A picture of Alyssa holding a teddy bear.Just two days after being diagnosed, Alyssa was admitted for her first round of chemotherapy treatment. “I didn’t realize just how serious and life-threatening my situation truly was, consider it the innocence of a child,” notes Alyssa, now 32. “Today, I’m quite grateful I didn’t understand the full scope of my diagnosis.” 

Faced with a six-month hospital stay, Alyssa tried to make every day as positive as possible. She continued her schooling, watched countless movies and tried to interact in creative ways with other children on the floor. Her mother was her lifeline, staying with her every day and every night. Her father and brother would also come and visit almost every day, along with other family and friends.

"There were definitely some tough times where my blood counts weren’t increasing the way they should,” recalls Alyssa. “Sometimes the sickness seemed too much to bear.” Over the holiday season, Alyssa became so ill that they questioned whether she would survive. But on February 3, 2003, she was finally discharged from the hospital and resumed as normal a life as possible.

“My brother and I both won our pact.”

This year, Alyssa celebrated 21 years in remission. Throughout that time, she graduated high school and university, and got married.  

Alyssa wedding day

When Alyssa was diagnosed, there had been a conversation around her ability to bear children in the future. With such limited knowledge on how the course of treatment would affect her body, everything was unclear. Chemotherapy treatments had already left her with damaged fascia around her heart, so it could have damaged other areas as well. Thankfully, Alyssa became pregnant in September 2022 and recently gave birth to her second child.

“Research is making a dramatic difference in the lives of those affected by a blood cancer. Without people donating to organizations like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada to support that research, I wouldn’t be alive today,” reflects Alyssa. 

“This is why I choose to work for this organization — because they are committed to blood cancer cures and to helping people like me. In the decade I have worked for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, countless lives like mine have been saved. But there is still more to do.”

I hope to one day say that blood cancers are a thing of the past!

You can help make Alyssa's hope a reality.

$100,000 matching opportunity