Sundance Vacations Holds Fundraiser for Rare Blood Cancer Patient

Sundance Vacations employees in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania came together in a big way to help a fellow coworker in need.

Jennifer Smith, a senior telephone service representative at our Tamaqua marketing office, tells Sundance Vacations she was devastated to learn of her mother Jody’s cancer diagnosis this past March.

Jody is currently living with myelofibrosis, a serious bone marrow disorder and rare type of chronic leukemia, which affects blood cell production in the body. The disorder leads to excessive scarring in a person’s bone marrow, leading to serious fatigue, anemia, and oftentimes an enlarged spleen and liver.

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Dozens of baskets were auctioned off to raise funds for Jody’s recovery, including a trip from Sundance Vacations.

Jennifer’s mom is suffering from all of these symptoms, causing a need for constant blood transfusions and treatment. In fact, her mother is also currently going through oral chemotherapy and is schedule for an appointment this upcoming July to see if she qualifies for a bone marrow transplant.

Jody’s sudden symptoms have stopped her from going to work and Sundance Vacations employees knew they had to help their coworker do all she could to promise a steady recovery for her mom. Employees began organizing an event to raise funds for Jody’s treatments at the Italian Club in Tamaqua, which was held this past Saturday June 4, 2016.

The event included an auction featuring baskets made by friends and family, a bake sale, food and more. Prizes included white water rafting tickets, ski passes, a fire pit, and almost 150 more giveaways donated by local businesses such as the Tamaqua Beacon Diner, La Dolce Casa, and Jack Frost Ski Resort. Sundance Vacations co-founders John and Tina Dowd were gracious enough to donate an 8 day, 7 night vacation for the auction as well, bringing in $550 alone to put towards Jody’s treatments.

Smith tells Sundance Vacations it was the highest attended event the Italian Club has ever seen.

“It just melts my heart how all these amazing people came out for my mom,” Smith said, “All I have to say is WOW…thank you so much to Sundance Vacations and all who attended.”

Jody is still on the road to recovery, but now her path is a little bit clearer thanks to the generous donations and help from her friends and family.

Almost two million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in United States this year alone, according to the National Cancer Institute. Click here to learn more about myelofibrosis.

View all charities Sundance Vacations Tamaqua worked with here: Tamaqua News.

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Jennifer writes for Sundance Vacations’ Charities, Blog and News site. As our Digital Marketing Coordinator, she is the mastermind behind our YouTube videos and generates online content for our travel company.