About Caroline Walter

I moved to Houston, Texas in 2006 when my husband, Kevin, was playing for the Houston Texans.  Over the past 14 years we have made this our home and take pride in raising our 3 children here.  Through the Texans we had the opportunity to become involved with many charities in the Houston community.  From the beginning we have always felt drawn to help those affected by cancer.  Whether it was raising funds, raising awareness, or interacting with the patients and their families it has always been an important cause to us.  Throughout our time in Houston we have been particularly involved with the Sunshine Kids, Jamie’s Hope, Turn it Gold, and other health related foundations.  Seeing what these people went through was enough to have us be supporters for life.  

Things got a lot more personal for us in 2015 when my cousin, Donny, was diagnosed with a rare Leukemia called Hairy Cell Leukemia and cancer that accounts for only 7% of all Leukemias but has a 99% cure rate.  Unfortunately, nothing having to do with cancer is guaranteed.  Six weeks after his diagnosis, my 41 year old cousin, the Godfather of my son, lost his very short battle to Leukemia.  Our family was shocked and devastated.  5 years later, I still think about ‘what could have been’.  This past February, when Joanna asked me to join her team to raise funds for a disease that I had such a personal attachment to seemed meant to be.  It was a way I could honor my cousin and help others avoid the heartbreak that any cancer can cause.  

A week later, in what I can only consider as another twist of fate, my father was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  This news was initially shocking, frightening, and unexpected.  My parents, who live in NJ, got on a flight a few days later to see a specialist at MD Anderson.  His name is Dr. Robert Orlowski, he is the head of the Lymphoma and Myeloma department at MD Anderson, and in one hour he turned our fear into hope.  He was extremely smart and thorough, but just as important, he was kind, understanding, and patient with all of us.  

The treatment plan he put my dad on was the newest and the best.  Because not only is he a doctor but he has worked his entire career actually studying developing these treatments we had no idea existed.  Honestly, we felt like it was a miracle.  Enter fate once again.  After our first team meeting I saw that Dr. Orlowski was the list of doctors who have received a large grant from the LLS.  That grant likely funded one of the treatments he would use to treat my dad.  The universe was now giving me the chance to help pay it forward.  

Cancer, in particular blood cancer, has devastated me, it has tested me, and now it has motivated me.  I could not be more motivated to raise money that will be used to help these genius doctors and scientists create not just drugs anymore.  My personal goal is to be a part of helping them create a cure.  Every dollar WE raise gets them closer.  That’s what this is about- the end goal of ending cancer!!

About Caroline Watler

I moved to Houston, Texas in 2006 when my husband, Kevin, was playing for the Houston Texans.  Over the past 14 years we have made this our home and take pride in raising our 3 children here.  Through the Texans we had the opportunity to become involved with many charities in the Houston community.  From the beginning we have always felt drawn to help those affected by cancer.  Whether it was raising funds, raising awareness, or interacting with the patients and their families it has always been an important cause to us.  Throughout our time in Houston we have been particularly involved with the Sunshine Kids, Jamie’s Hope, Turn it Gold, and other health related foundations.  Seeing what these people went through was enough to have us be supporters for life.  

Things got a lot more personal for us in 2015 when my cousin, Donny, was diagnosed with a rare Leukemia called Hairy Cell Leukemia and cancer that accounts for only 7% of all Leukemias but has a 99% cure rate.  Unfortunately, nothing having to do with cancer is guaranteed.  Six weeks after his diagnosis, my 41 year old cousin, the Godfather of my son, lost his very short battle to Leukemia.  Our family was shocked and devastated.  5 years later, I still think about ‘what could have been’.  This past February, when Joanna asked me to join her team to raise funds for a disease that I had such a personal attachment to seemed meant to be.  It was a way I could honor my cousin and help others avoid the heartbreak that any cancer can cause.  

A week later, in what I can only consider as another twist of fate, my father was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  This news was initially shocking, frightening, and unexpected.  My parents, who live in NJ, got on a flight a few days later to see a specialist at MD Anderson.  His name is Dr. Robert Orlowski, he is the head of the Lymphoma and Myeloma department at MD Anderson, and in one hour he turned our fear into hope.  He was extremely smart and thorough, but just as important, he was kind, understanding, and patient with all of us.  

The treatment plan he put my dad on was the newest and the best.  Because not only is he a doctor but he has worked his entire career actually studying developing these treatments we had no idea existed.  Honestly, we felt like it was a miracle.  Enter fate once again.  After our first team meeting I saw that Dr. Orlowski was the list of doctors who have received a large grant from the LLS.  That grant likely funded one of the treatments he would use to treat my dad.  The universe was now giving me the chance to help pay it forward.  

Cancer, in particular blood cancer, has devastated me, it has tested me, and now it has motivated me.  I could not be more motivated to raise money that will be used to help these genius doctors and scientists create not just drugs anymore.  My personal goal is to be a part of helping them create a cure.  Every dollar WE raise gets them closer.  That’s what this is about- the end goal of ending cancer!!

“Cancer, in particular blood cancer, has devastated me, it has tested me, and now it has motivated me.  I could not be more motivated to raise money that will be used to help these genius doctors and scientists create not just drugs anymore.  That’s what this is about- the end goal of ending cancer!”

 

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