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By Leesa Gabel

The much anticipated wedding of William and Kate is tomorrow. Yes, I’ll be getting up at 0′dark thirty to watch! I remember watching Charles and Diana’s wedding with my grandma (she was a WWII war bride from England). The image of Diana in her wedding gown stuck with me over the years….my own wedding gown was similar in that it was huge and had a very long train. On Saturday, Ashlee and I will go to a royal wedding tea being hosted by a friend. Ashlee is excited to watch as Kate becomes a real-life princess. Saturday evening I will have my chance to feel like royalty when I attend the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Black Tie Ball.

The Black Tie Ball is a major fundraising event for LLS…silent auction, high-price tables for a fancy dinner, live auction and the crown jewel (so to speak)…the Jewel in the Box. I’m excited to meet many of the major donors to LLS….the ones who help fund research and patient programs.

Plus…hello…IT’S A BALL!! How often do you get to wear a ball gown and see your man in a tux (outside of your own wedding of course)?!? I’m SO ready to get all fancy and have a romantic night out! This round of treatment has dragged on and on….I need some fun!!



Mrs. Gabel Goes to Washington

By Leesa Gabel

No, I’m not going to fill a vacancy in the US Senate, but I am going to Washington, DC to make my voice be heard.

I was one of 40 chosen by the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LIVESTRONG) to attend the One Voice Against Cancer Lobby Day on May 24th!!

I’m over-the-moon excited about this. I’m also nervous. This will be my first major solo trip ever! Craig and the kids won’t be going with me. I’ll be taking my first solo plane ride…and trying to figure out how to get around on the Metro.

I’ll spend Monday attending a workshop on how to be an effective advocate. Then on Tuesday I’ll tackle Capitol Hill and will meet with Kevin Yoder and Jerry Moran from Kansas. I assume that’s who I’ll be meeting. Beyond that….I’m clueless, but uber-excited!!




By Leesa Gabel

Passion is an intense enthusiasm for a subject or activity.

Within the last few weeks I have definitely found my passions…in no particular order…

Girl Scouts – I’m a second year Daisy Girl Scout Leader for my daughter and 10 other of her 1st grade friends. I love being a leader!! But that’s not all I do….I’m also Registrar for my Service Unit and in the fall I will be the Girl Scout Organizier at Mahaffie. I’m also a certified adult learning facilitator (I teach classes on how to be a GS leader). And as of Saturday afternoon, I am officially a Delegate to the National Convention. In Novemeber, I’ll travel to Houston as a representative of my local GS Council. Not quite sure yet what all I’ll be doing, but I know it’ll be fun. I’ve seen the positive effects that Boy Scouts has had on my son, now I’m looking forward to the same for my daughter. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character!!

Team In Training – I LOVE my TNT peeps!! It has to be love because not much else would get me out of my comfy bed at 5:30am on a Saturday morning. I actually feel bad when I can’t make it out to a training….even if it’s just to man a waterstop. Being a part of TNT has changed my life….it is so inspirational to be a part of something that is so much bigger than you first realize when you join. It’s shown me that I CAN…even with cancer. My kids and I joke that I have CANcer, not CAN’Tcer. I do still need a cool nickname though….

LIVESTRONG – The name says it all…Live Strong….and that’s what I’m doing. In March of this year I received word that my application to be a LIVESTRONG Leader had been accepted!! WooHoo!! Little did I know the exciting doors it would open for me and the feeling of awesomeness it would give me. As I type this I am patiently waiting to hear if I’m one of 40 who will be traveling to Washington, DC as a respresentative of LIVESTRONG to join them for One Voice Against Cancer Lobby Day! OMG!! I was doing the happy dance when I learned that I had been a selected as a potential advocate. I’ve been writing to my state and federal reps for a while now as part of American Cancer Society….traveling to DC really ups the anty!!! LIVESTRONG has also been there for me as a cancer survivor…..they have SO much support available….so many options. It’s very comforting to know that I’m not alone.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Of course they’d be on the list….Hello! I have leukemia!! LOL!! Seriously, the folks in that office are a second family (like second cousins or something). This is also where I’d like to put ALL my focus on fundraising. It was a hard decision because there are so many organizations out there that I believe in and want to support. But in the end, my desire to find a cure for my type of leukemia swayed my decision. I HATE having a chronic disease. Hate it, hate it, HATE IT!!! I’m tired of treatment, I WANT A CURE!! I do my part by doing clinical trials….someone has to be a guinea pig. But those trials take funding and right now I’m not trusting our government to help with that…..perhaps a dose of my passion on Capitol Hill will help change that!!

There is one other to add to the list…..Flootle……but you’ll need to wait a bit longer before I can tell you more about this new passion.




By Craig Gabel

This year has been a tough year to get motivated.  I think seeing Leesa go through yet another round of chemo has really affected me in ways that I haven’t yet comprehended.  I am motivated to help fight the cause and have done a decent job fundraising but the physical and emotional side to this has taken its toll.  You take that and couple it with achieving my ultimate goal of finishing an Ironman…then what do you do?  Well I sat on my rear all winter long losing the physical stamina I built up over the last 2+ years. I thought getting engaged in the Tahoe team experience as a mentor would cause my physical being to open up like a spring flower but I have to say that has yet to happen… but it might be close.  It’s been a frustrating year for lack of a better word.  I am trying to be the rock of the family but lately that has been a very hard role to fill.  All the things you think of associated with the word “cancer” have seemed to finally set into our family even though we’ve been fighting it since day one.  The hardship of dealing with the treatment, the emotional pitfall that affects the whole family, the financial drain, etc…it all adds up to depression if you let it get the best of you.  I think that has hit all of us at some level.  Well it’s time to bounce back.  I am not real sure what that entails but it’s time to step up and do something about it.  Maybe my two mile run this morning is a good first step!  I haven’t run since Ironman so it’s a decent motivator for the time being…how long will it last is the question.