Lesli Link Cancer Fund
Team Member: Curtis Miller
Catherine Campbell wrote -
In January 2015, Lesli's doctor spoke the words no one wants to hear: "You have cancer." In that moment, life changed. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer and began chemotherapy treatment in February 2015. Her particular type of cancer is not curable, but is now being managed with very expensive immunotherapy treatments that started in August 2015 after five months of chemotherapy. She is doing great on this treatment and continues a very active life of tennis and swimming to keep her mind and body in the best shape possible for the battle.
Lesli and her husband, Larry, have worked diligently to get her the best care possible. Their determination drove them to find the place that could best treat her unique form of cancer, and it was not in Arizona, but at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Chicago, IL. While Lesli and Larry have come to terms with the fact that Lesli's cancer cannot be cured, they remain cheerful, optimistic, and hopeful that Lesli has many happy, healthy years ahead.
The physical and emotional challenges have been great, but the monetary cost has stretched their finances to their limits, and these usually very proud and private people have had to reach out for help. Since they are both Realtors, the time taken away from business to work on Lesli's health has had a huge impact on their income. That reduction in income, coupled with the increase in expenses, has put them in the position of having to sell their home of eleven years. Looming at the beginning of 2017, there will be a gap in Lesli's insurance coverage that will leave her uncovered for the months of January and February. She has immunotherapy treatments in Chicago every other Tuesday - at a cost of approximately $37,000 per treatment. They are trying to get some consideration from the drug manufacturer to help with the expense, but at this point, may be fully responsible for the cost of the treatments during those two months.
After exhausting their available cash assets, they are considering using retirement funds, as well as selling their beautiful home, in order to reduce their monthly expenses and use the equity to help with the extraordinary expenses. They have worked so hard and asked for nothing but emotional support from their friends, all while Lesli has been an absolute inspiration to us all. We hope that friends, family, co-workers, and strangers will show their support for Lesli to help her and Larry through this very difficult time.
Below is just a portion of what Larry has written about Lesli on the website mylifeline.org, which he uses to keep friends and family in the loop as Lesli's courageous battle continues. If you wish to read the entire post, as well as all of the other posts beginning with Lesli's diagnosis and search to find the cause of her illness, and continuing through her treatments, trips and visits with friends and family, go to https://www.mylifeline.org/LesliLink/ and register for her support site. It is an amazing and inspiring story.
Please share this opportunity to help with your friends in the real estate and tennis communities, as well as any other friends or associates that may be willing to help.
Many of you really don’t know much about who Lesli is and how she has lived her life. Lesli is very goal oriented. She has been very competitive since a little girl learning to swim on the country club swim team and learning gymnastics. Don’t tell her she can’t do something because she will prove you wrong just for spite! She is never about being #1 at all cost…she has always wanted to be in the top 10% of anything she has done whether in athletics, business, tiddly-winks…whatever, and doing it by following the rules and just working hard to be the best she can be. She was a competitive swimmer in high school and set records that held for over 15 years. She secretly continued competing in gymnastics while on the swim team because the swim coach said she couldn’t compete in 2 sports…pick one. She didn’t (this was one of her rule breaking times) and we have a box full of ribbons and trophies she won during that time in both swimming AND gymnastics. In diving, most divers had to compete 7+ years to dive at the national level...Lesli made it to nationals in 3 years. In that 3 years she worked her way up so that she qualified for the AAU Nationals (Olympic Qualifying) where she dove against some of the biggest names in diving at the time. She was also named the AAU Female Athlete of the Year…a very prestigious award that was presented to her by Jim McKay…yes, THAT Jim McKay of the original Wide World of Sports on ABC and Olympics coverage. I didn’t find out about this until we had been married 8 years. It was no big deal to her…amazing.
Like I said, Lesli isn’t about being #1. It IS about working hard to be the best she can be. When she was about 13 years old her mother took her to the doctor concerned that she had a growth on her abdomen. The doctor looked at it and starting laughing…it wasn’t a growth…it was just muscle! Through her hard work she had developed a “6 pack”! She hadn’t worked to achieve that; it was just the result of working hard on her swimming, diving and gymnastics.
In business, she has always tried to be in the top 10% of whatever organization she was a part of. She won numerous awards and recognition with BeautiControl Cosmetics where she worked her way up to being a Senior Director and a National Trainer for them for several years. I’ve watched her give extemporaneous hour long training sessions in front of 300+ people…no script, no notes…just her teaching. After that, she spent 13 years as a pharmaceutical rep where she was recognized on the national level several times and received some wonderful trips as her rewards…we traveled all over the world. And then on to real estate where she built a great business in California. TOO good a business! With the referrals she was getting from clients, she was WAY too busy. It was tough for her to turn down referrals that would pay her $20,000+ in commission. Plus, her real estate brokerage wanted her to train new agents. So, she became a Regional Trainer for Keller Williams Realty in Southern California. During that time, after a full baseball season and getting to 1 of Grant’s games…and being on the phone the whole time with a client while there…I said enough, we are moving someplace normal. And then we moved to beautiful Anthem, AZ.
After moving to Anthem, she retired from real estate for a little over a year and then eased back into it at a more controlled pace. During the down time she got back into playing tennis. While we lived in Texas we both were active tennis players playing at a competitive level. We won the USTA Mixed Doubles Championships on a team where we played together…rare for couples to be successful playing tennis together. In Anthem she picked up tennis again after an 8-year hiatus and loved getting back into competitive tennis. She’s been to USTA Nationals 2 times on Women’s teams and Mixed Doubles teams. When our son started high school and wanted to play HS tennis, there was no one to coach the team. Since she is a certified teaching tennis pro, she applied for the “job” and got it. She was proud that she was able to coach her team of non-competitive players to 4 seasons of undefeated play in the region and got them to #2 in the state! She was named Coach of the Year in the Region 3 of the 4 seasons.
So, there you have it…a bit of what Lesli is about and why we have every confidence she will be in the top 10% of cancer patients in her situation. Again, please celebrate her achievements and little victories along the way and know that she is focused on her ultimate goal. She feels good and has a great attitude. We know there will be good days and bad, but she is ever the Tough Chick!