2006 Leukemia Cup
Patient Honoree – Eric Dahlquist
Regatta weekend – Sept. 15-17 – on White Bear Lake is a celebration by
sailors and non-sailors, alike, who are raising funds and awareness in honor
of a North Oaks, MN resident
|A future sailor is born! Eric Dahlquist with older sister,
Ellen, on the tall ship U.S.S. Constitution on a recent family vacation in
Eric Dahlquist – 12 years old on July 27 – was diagnosed Dec. 15, 2004 with
acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). He immediately began chemotherapy at St.
Paul Children’s Hospital & Clinics. Due to the intensive treatment, his
white count and immune system were quite low, and he was unable to return to
school for the rest of the 2004-05 school year. However, he was
home-schooled four hours each week, and he passed onto sixth grade at
Chippewa Middle School with all A’s. Eric continued to have intensive rounds
of chemotherapy for the entire 2005 year; in and out of the hospital
frequently, he had to give up a lot of his special interests (baseball,
traveling, playing the violin, Boy Scout meetings). In January, 2006, Eric
spent a month in the hospital because of serious complications from
intensive chemotherapy; he had many transfusions during this period and was
weak and in a lot of pain, but the hospital staff, his family and friends
were amazed by his brave attitude.
Eric, who lives in North Oaks, MN with his parents (Neil and Marcia) and
older sister (Ellen), is now in remission (cancer-free) and in the
maintenance phase of treatment. He will continue taking a chemotherapy pill
daily for two years and have spinal taps monthly for the first year.
What is The Leukemia Cup Regatta?
The L-Cup Regatta – benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – is a thrilling
series of sailing events across the country that combine the joy of sailing with
the important task of raising money to fight leukemia and lymphoma cancers.
Sailors and non-sailors, alike, raise funds and awareness for the Society’s
life-saving programs: Research, Patient Services, Education and Advocacy. This
is the L-Cup Regatta’s third year in Minnesota; held on White Bear Lake, and
sponsored by White Bear Boat Works.
The L-Cup had its beginnings in Alabama in 1988, when a yacht club raised funds
for the Society in memory of a member who had died from leukemia. In 1993, an
Annapolis, MD, yacht club pioneered the concept of competition – sailing and
fundraising – among boats and crews and raised $30,000 for the Society.
spread across the country, especially after world-class sailor and ESPN
commentator Gary Jobson became the national chair in 1994. In 2003, Jobson’s
role became even more personal when he was diagnosed with stagefour Hodgkin’s
lymphoma. Today, after intensive treatment and a stem cell transplant, Jobson is
cancer-free and continues to help build the event. In 2005, the sailing
community raised more than $3.2 million at 47 Regattas, bringing the overall
campaign results to more than $18 million. Today, because of advances made in
research and treatment, there is an 86 percent survival rate for children under
15 years with ALL (Eric Dahlquist’s form of leukemia); 40 years ago there was
less than a 4 percent survival rate.
The 2004 Minnesota Patient Honoree was White Bear Lake resident and Black Bear
Yacht Racing Association (BBYRA) member Craig Witthaus, who was diagnosed with
non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2000 and is now five years in remission. Dellwood
resident Ford Nicholson, a White Bear Yacht Club (WBYC) member, was the 2004
Honorary Chair; Nicholson, diagnosed in 2001 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, has also
been cancer-free for five years. Dan Hochhalter, a 2000 White Bear Lake High
School graduate and present-day fiddler for country music singer Gretchen
Wilson, was the 2005 Patient Honoree. In 2001, Hochhalter’s college and music
career were sidelined when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia;
fortunately, after eight months of chemotherapy, he was declared cancer-free.
Still, more needs to be done to fund a cure! An estimated 2,400 residents in
Minnesota will be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease or
myeloma this year. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among
children and young adults under the age of 20, yet it affects nine times as many
All are welcome to fundraise for the L-Cup and join in Regatta weekend fun!
|The Leukemia Cup Regatta. Photo courtesy of Pat Dunsworth.
You don’t need to sail to fundraise and win prizes! The L-Cup’s top
fundraisers – all those raising $8,500 – will sail with Gary Jobson in Rhode
Island in October. Other prizes and incentives are offered by national
sponsors, such as Mount Gay Rum, West Marine, Sailing World Magazine,
Sunsail Sailing Vacations, and North Sails. Local sponsors for the Minnesota
L-Cup are White Bear Boat Works, Shavlik Technologies and Maplewood Outback
Steakhouse; BBYRA and WBYC are co-hosts. Supporters include Northern Breezes
and Pat Dunsworth Photography.
The Sept. 15-17 weekend festivities include three thrilling races, a Friday
night reception, Saturday dinner, silent auction and street dance (no cover),
and fundraising and sailing awards. Tickets for the Saturday dinner must be
purchased in advance: $25/adult and $10/child under 12. All participants for
racing and/or fundraising can register online: www.leukemiacup.org/mn (Minnesota
Details) or by contacting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Nicki Hyser: email@example.com
or (763) 545-3309, ext. 102.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, headquartered in White Plains, NY, is the
world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood and
lymphoma cancer research and providing education and patient services. The
Society’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma
and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its
founding in 1949, the Society has invested more than $434 million for research –
specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
Sailing contacts: Carol Robertshaw, Commodore for BBYRA, (651) 426-7059 or
firstname.lastname@example.org; Lee Alnes, Communications Director WBYC Sailing
Division, (651) 341-5871 or email@example.com.