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Published: Thursday, 9/2/2010

Former Toledoan and cancer survivor to raise money to fight leukemia

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A former Toledoan is marking the one-year anniversary of her Cleveland based business by holding a karaoke-themed fund-raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on Sunday at a West Toledo restaurant.

Charmaine J. Davis, a 2001 graduate of Central Catholic High School and a survivor of Stage IIIA Hodgkin's disease, is hosting the event from 4 to 8 p.m. in the basement dining room at El Camino Real Mexican restaurant, 2500 West Sylvania Ave.

An all-you-can-eat taco bar will be available for $10, with half of the cost benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Donations of $5 will be accepted from those wishing to sing during the event, while top audience vote-getters will receive tickets for a cash raffle. Other 50/50 prize raffles will be held for attendees.

Ms. Davis said she chose the event and location "because of my love and passion for singing, which originated while growing up in North Toledo.

"To express yourself creatively encourages others to do the same. In this way, we help each other grow and to be better people," she said.

"It also looks to raise awareness to further this organization's work to fund research to help find cures for blood cancers. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to give back to the organization that helped me fight the good fight and beat my Hodgkin's two years ago."

"Charmaine is an inspiration to us at LLS, giving back to her community. We appreciate her using her talents to raise money for such a great cause," said Sheri Kellner, Light the Night campaign manager for the society's Northern Ohio chapter.

Hodgkin's disease is the most common form of lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system, which is an immune-system network throughout the human body. Stage IIIA is an advanced form of the disease in which cancer is present above and below the abdominal wall, and has spread to other organs.

Light the Night is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's annual fund-raising walk, which last year raised more than $39 million across the U.S.

Proceeds from the El Camino Real fund-raiser will go to that campaign. Ms. Davis also hopes to raise $500 personally and at least $2,000 as a member of a team participating in this year's Light the Night Walk, which is held on different nights in various cities, including Oct. 9 at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Oct. 8 in downtown Detroit, and Oct. 2 in Ann Arbor and Cleveland.

Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children and adults under age 20, while lymphomas are the most common blood cancers, with incidence increasing with age.

The survival rate for myeloma is just 37.1 percent, and its incidence is twice as high among African-Americans as for all other races.

Editor's Note: This version corrects the location for the event.



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