The ordeal of having to face one’s mortality, and to fight and struggle for one’s very survival - in the face of a medical ordeal with long odds - would be a daunting challenge for anyone. To be ensnared in that physical, mental, and emotional predicament for nearly a decade sounds much like a life of purgatory on earth. And to bear all of these challenges during the formative years of one’s life, when one is supposed to become educated, learn maturity, and plan for a future in adulthood, seems a cruel and bitter irony indeed. But sometimes a desperate scenario such as this happens to seemingly undeserving people, and that is exactly what befell Marc Lehmann only a few months after his high school graduation.
In the supremely arduous years after a devastating Acute Myeloid Leukemia diagnosis, Marc bore up his considerable constitution and summoned every ounce of patience, pain tolerance, and grit to stare down that mortality and secure his survival. For years, it seemed the disease and Marc fought to a draw. He paid, day in and day out, whatever toll was required to arrive at tomorrow.
During the entire ordeal, a certainty became apparent to him. Many of those hard-earned tomorrows would never have happened without considerable HELP! That help was most evident in the form of fellow human beings - some of whose exceptional, caring humanity and dedicated proficiency went unnoticed by most in the din of the medical machinery we call a hospital. But it was noticed, and supremely appreciated by Marc. It is for him that this Foundation hopes to recognize and make known special physicians and caregivers. Individuals who are unafraid to aid and empower fellow living souls to navigate a storm that one may not survive for now, and eventually will never survive.
Be it known that he was thankful!
“I was blessed to meet one of my very best friends in my life at age 11. Marc and I shared many adventures as kids, from riding bikes to thinking we were too cool cruising around in his dad’s latest hot rod blaring music. Marc was larger than life with a huge heart. He never cared where you came from or what you had; he saw people for who they were and he treasured the friendships he made. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. I see him around me always, whether it be in the music he loved, a chill sunset, or a fast car. I know he’s still with me. To have Marc as a brother in this lifetime is one of my most cherished blessings. It is an honor to carry on his legacy and life with this Foundation and see it help in the advancements and treatments of leukemia.”
- Brian Kebsch, Executive Committee Member
“After meeting Marc in college at The University of Louisville, we quickly became fast friends and then roommates. We shared a love of bourbon, music, video games, and leading a life worth living. You don’t get a chance to meet too many people like Marc, a giant of a man with a heart to match, and a willingness to help others in need, even while he was fighting his fight against leukemia. My goal on the committee is to make sure Marc's spirit for helping others will live on. I know Marc is with me every day, and every day I miss him.”
- Daniel Beam, Executive Committee Member
FOR THOSE WE HONOR
On the last Friday evening of October, annually, our Foundation conducts a semiformal award event and banquet at Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant in Louisville. Deserving support staff oncology caregivers from our various community medical institutions are present, along with their families, to be officially recognized with an engraved art glass creation from Flame Run. In addition, one community oncology physician – elected by the fraternity of previous years’ awardees – is recognized, as well. Notable keynote speakers address our invited audience and guests on the merits and rewards of caring and compassionate patient support, as well as developments and advances in the field of cancer treatments.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
To identify and recognize physicians, caregivers, and support staff whose careers encompass long-standing service to patients and their families in the area of hematology & oncology. Recipients would have a clear reputation for proficiency combined with a consistent record of administering that proficiency with the dedication, empathy, and understanding for their patients.
Furthermore, to craft this award as a perpetual, ongoing ceremony designed to uplift the deserving awardees, and to provide our related medical community with examples of ideal models deserving of their emulation.
"Recipients have a clear reputation for proficiency combined with
a consistent record of administering that proficiency with
dedication, empathy and understanding for their patients."
~ Foundation Mission Statement