December 31, 2013 in City

Ice-A-Rena event raises money for cancer research

By The Spokesman-Review
Kathy Plonka photoBuy this photo

Rich Meyer, of Spokane, tries to coax daughter Sophia, 4, onto the ice during the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraiser at the Eagles Ice-A-Rena in Spokane on Monday.
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One in 300 in U.S.

As of 2012, more than 1 million U.S. residents are living with or are in remission from some form of leukemia or lymphoma, according to the National Cancer Institute. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has spent more than $750 million on blood cancer research in an effort to find a cure.

Skaters tightened their laces Monday at Spokane’s Eagles Ice-A-Rena to raise money for cancer research.

Even those among the approximately 150 skaters who seemed a little unsure carved new paths in the ice during the 90-minute event devoted to raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training.

“Are you sure I know how to walk in these?” 4-year-old Sophia Meyer asked as she slipped her feet into tiny ice skates. Her mother, Chris Meyer, assured her she could.

The rink donated the proceeds from Monday’s public skate. The money stays in the Pacific Northwest to help people suffering from blood cancers. The fundraiser is a partnership between the Ice-A-Rena and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The effort is headed up by Spokane resident Jennifer Miner, whose parents own the rink and whose grandfather helped build it.

“Just about everyone’s life has been touched by cancer,” Miner said. “There’s not much you can do about it. I’m not a doctor or anything. So, I help raise money.”

The Spokane woman is passionate about the cause because of those she’s loved and lost to cancer, including her grandmother, Bev Miner, who died about 18 months ago.

Miner raised $1,052 on Monday to contribute to the effort, exceeding her goal of $1,000 for the day.

Meyer and Miner are members of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training, created in 1988. Those who raise money for cancer research and patient services receive professional training for an athletic event, such as a marathon or a 100-mile bike ride.

“I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 40,” said Meyer, still emotional about losing her sister to cancer 19 years ago. She heard about the organization and attended a meeting. Now, “I can raise money for cancer … and I can run.”

Spokane resident Kat Cardis heard about the event through friends and brought her family to the rink. Her dad had leukemia.

“It’s great to see so many people coming out,” she said.

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