Multiple Myeloma, a relatively rare and incurable cancer of the plasma cells, is the second most common blood cancer. It strikes more than 14,000 Americans each year, and nearly 10,580 people with the disease die from it annually. Although there are no known causes of Multiple Myeloma at this point, medical research suggests that Myeloma tends to rarely be detected during its' early stages and can be brought on by exposure to radiation or chemicals, such as arsenic, asbestos, lead, herbicides, or pesticides.
This past September, SE4C Co-Founder and Director, Debra Lesane was diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma after working in Broward County Schools for over two decades. Unfortunately and unbeknownst to many, multiple Broward County Schools have either previously or are currently contaminated with asbestos. We have made it our job to bring to light the connection between exposure to asbestos and cancer. Not only will this two-day event reinforce our mission, it will also promote healthy lifestyles, salute and champion our everyday heroes, and educate our community on the risks associated with exposure to the bacteria asbestos.
We can only further our mission by obtaining funds from potential sponsors such as yourself. In addition to the funds raised through this page, proceeds from both events will benefit SE4C as we seek to re-invest support into local projects that help increase community awareness of environmental diseases/cancers, to enhance SE4C educational programs, and to provide financial support for our co-founder in her battle against cancer.
Donate today to continue to support Mrs. Lesane in her fight against Myeloma!
UPDATE: We have received $2,350 in donations through the mail, so far. Thank you so much for your continued support! If you would like to send a check or money order, please mail to:
2051 NW 1st Avenue
Pompano Beach, FL 33060
UPDATE: My family and I are forever thankful for all the love and support we've received. This is not just about money or any financial gain but primarily to shed light on our education system and the poor conditions of our institutions. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has a site dedicated to informing ppl on asbestos in school buildings. Please take the time to educate yourself. You, your child, or someone you know may be at risk and affected later. Reach out to your local school district to request information on your local school's asbestos contamination assessment records. Asbestos exposure can lead to a host of illnesses, there may be little to no symptoms and the effects may not show until 15-20 years after exposure. Not many of us are informed and this could really happen to anyone. Please visit http://www2.epa.gov/asbestos/school-buildings for more info on asbestos in our schools! --Septembra Lesane
On September 12th 2013, my mother, Debra Lesane, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a non-hereditary cancer that has been linked to various environmental toxins. Based off my mother's medical history, the only environmental toxin she has knowingly been exposed to is asbestos contamination within multiple Broward County Schools dating as far back as 1988 at Markham Elementary and as recent as the past eight years as a teacher at Crystal Lake Middle. Although the causes of myeloma are not known or well understood, research shows that people who have been exposed to radiation or to asbestos, benzene, pesticides, and other chemicals used in rubber manufacturing may be at higher risk for developing myeloma. Workers, teachers, and students are presently exposed to asbestos in Broward County schools while complete assessments of the possible risks, both short and long term, are constantly being undermined by the Broward County School Board.
I am organizing this site with hopes of helping to raise funds for my mother and our family through these extremely challenging times. She has not been able to work the last six months and will not be able to work until after she completes chemotherapy and other treatments. If we can help ease some of the financial burdens resulting from this disease, she can keep her focus on what's most important: Getting well.
There are many stressors that go along with a cancer diagnosis, but the most frustration has come from the total lack of concern expressed by the Broward County School Board towards a work-related injured employee. After being dismissed from the Worker's Compensation doctors with little to no regard for her health and physical well-being, it is quite disturbing that a system she dedicated over 20 years of service to has forced her to rely on outside sources to tend to her medical needs. Since initially receiving a nerve block procedure by school board doctors, her physical health has drastically deteriorated. In the past year, she hasn't been able to leave home without suffering from back spasms, nor has she been able to walk or stand without assistance.
The school board's doctors disregarded my mother's health as proven by their erroneous and dishonest diagnosis of her reaching "maximum medical improvement" before dismissing her. It is extremely disappointing to see the conduct and treatment the Broward County School Board, Worker's Compensation, and its' subsidiary OptaComp has subjected her to; even going as far as revoking a wheelchair that had initially been delivered for her medical use due to her physical immobility. After exhausting her allowable 60 day medical leave period and still not physically or medically able to return to work, her only alternative would result in her taking a personal leave for the remainder of the school year; thus forcing her to cover her medical insurance premium which would have otherwise been covered by the Broward County School Board.
My mom has always shown a passion for helping others and educating the next generation. Anyone who knows her appreciates her kindness, integrity, generosity, sense of humor and positive spirit. Despite her weekly chemo regimen, she continues to remain optimistic and focused on improving her health. My mom is normally the one organizing something like this for a person in need, but now she needs to be on the receiving end of a blessing.
I will leave you with the letter below, which details a final encounter with one of the school board's worker's comp doctors. Teachers deserve to be treated with more respect than this and I hope my mother's case raises awareness of the type of treatment they are subjected to, when all they seek is to get healthy and back into the classroom. This incident occurred 1 week before my mom was admitted into a hospital due to chronic back pain, and she was finally properly examined and diagnosed with the blood cancer Multiple Myeloma.
Thank you for your generosity and prayers for my mother and our family!
If you would like to mail a check, please send it to:
2051 NW 1st Avenue
Pompano Beach, FL 33060
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