My Fundraising Page

My Fundraising Page
Jul 06, 2016

I have decided to run my third full marathon on November 13, 2016 with the goal of raising $2,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of my Grandpa Don, who passed away in December 2014 after a valiant battle with 2 different forms of blood cancer over the last 14 years of his life. 

My grandpa, Donald J. Pasik, was a pretty remarkable person. I'd like to share 18 facts about him (in Judaism 18 is a symbol of life), his personal experience battling Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (a type of Lymphoma) and then later MDS (another blood cancer), as it was told to me by my aunt Laura, and ask that you consider making a donation to my fundraising effort in his memory. In doing so, you will be helping LLS achieve the mission of curing blood cancers, and improving the quality of life for patients and their families through patient support, advocacy, and research.

18 Facts about my Grandpa Don:

  1. We shared the same favorite candy, Good and Plenties.
  2. He was a Rocket Scientist.
  3. He really didn't care what anybody thought of him.
  4. He could out coffee drink me.
  5. He and my grandma square danced, competitively.
  6. He wore a Donald Duck royal blue wind breaker, like a boss.
  7. He let grandma do most of the talking, inserting little corrections or details and grinned or chuckled to himself as he recalled what ever memory came to his mind as he paid attention to her retelling of stories.
  8. He was like, scary smart.
  9. He was really good at that Spirograph game.
  10. He had the world's best T-shirt collection, which is now in my possession.
  11. He ran hurdles in High School.
  12. He was a cat lover.
  13. He liked vanilla, and didn't care for chocolate.
  14. The man liked food in general.
  15. He never really complained. He was very much a stoic.
  16. He actually totally pulled off the mustache look.
  17. He loved perusing book stores. Especially ones that had a coffee shop in it.
  18. This was the last picture I took with him. I was driving North to Seattle for my first full marathon the next day. He actually called me after my race, wanted to know how it went and make sure I was ok. He passed away 7 days later. And he was worried about me.

His Heroic Battle against Blood Cancer, as told by his daughter Laura:
Dad was initially diagnosed with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, a form of chronic lymphoma, in about 2000. I remember it was right before Joanna's bat mitzvah. He received chemo for the Waldenstrom's at Dana Farber in Boston, I think on two or possibly three separate occasions. The chemo was performed on an outpatient basis and wasn't too awful in terms of side effects according to Dad, and it was absolutely the doctor-recommended state of the art treatment at that time. And it actually worked very well in terms of giving Dad a long remission from the Waldenstrom's. Unfortunately it also had the unintended consequence of causing him to develop myelodysplasia, another form of blood cancer and a considerably more life-threatening one, about 10 years later.

So, that obviously sucked. Dad was 75 when diagnosed with the myelodysplasia, so was considered to be too old to be a candidate for a bone marrow transplant, which is the only treatment at present that offers the hope of a cure. The best option for him, according to his doctor (David Maloney, MD, Ph.D) at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), was chemo on an outpatient basis for 7 successive days, roughly once a month. Again, the chemo wasn't horrible in terms of side effects, at least at first. Dad had some nausea that was pretty well controlled with medication, but for the most part he felt pretty good and the chemo did its job of controlling the cancer. Unfortunately over time Dad became more and more susceptible to pneumonia, which I gather can be a side effect of the chemo and probably wasn't helped by the fact that Dad had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) from all his years of smoking. His doctor at SCCA tried switching him to a different type of chemo to see if he would do better on that, but unfortunately he had a very bad reaction so chemo was no longer an option. This was in January 2014. Without the chemo to keep the cancer under control Dad's bone marrow basically stopped making platelets so he needed increasingly frequent transfusions to keep going. And of course with low platelet levels he was horribly susceptible to infection so that last year was rough, and he spent a lot of it at Providence St. Peter hospital in Olympia. The staff there did a fantastic job of taking care of him, though. The oncology nursing staff was just wonderful--patient, compassionate and everything you would want them to be. Dad really fought a heroic fight against his illness, and Mom was with him every step of the way. And even at the end there were bright spots and good days. The day before he died, he managed to eat two bowls of clam chowder for dinner and he still had hopes of coming home one day soon.


Please consider making a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help get us all closer to a world without blood cancers. Even just $18 would mean so much to me.

Thank you!!! 

With Love,

If you want to know more about how I became a runner and why I love the sport so much, you can read about that here.

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." -Steve Prefontaine


Supporter Comments

    "I used to square dance with Don, years ago, and hadn't heard of his passing. My father also died from MDS. Becca, thank you for what you're doing to raise money to help beat this disease!"

    Marc Tanner

    Sat Jul 02 09:48:22 EDT 2016

    "Get it grrrrrl"

    Rachel "Poopsie" Sherman

    Mon Jul 25 12:51:18 EDT 2016

    "I am very lucky to have been able to spend so much time with your awesome grandpa!"

    Jonathan Marx

    Fri Jul 01 12:04:48 EDT 2016



    Fri Jul 01 12:54:54 EDT 2016

    "Good luck to my sweet grandniece Rebecca in your marathon in honor of your beloved grandpa and my beloved baby brother Donald Pasik! Thank you, Becca! Love, Great Aunt Ruthi"


    Fri Jul 01 01:59:38 EDT 2016

    "Thank you so much, Becca, for doing this for Dad! You rock!"

    Laura Pasik

    Fri Jul 01 02:52:04 EDT 2016

    "I am donating 36.00 a double chai!"


    Fri Jul 01 04:21:28 EDT 2016

    "Don was a sweet man. I'm glad to support Rebecca in honoring his memory and helping others have a greater chance of beating this disease."

    Toni Panzica

    Fri Jul 01 11:05:32 EDT 2016

    "This is in honor of my father who succumbed to this terrible disease but battled to stay alive until the end. "

    Ronald Pasik

    Wed Aug 03 05:44:09 EDT 2016


    Alicia Pasik

    Sat Jul 09 10:30:28 EDT 2016

    "Love you Becca!"

    Brendan Brown

    Fri Jul 08 02:18:33 EDT 2016

    "You're awesome for doing this Becca! He would be proud of you!"

    Aarie Liebreich

    Wed Jul 06 11:06:38 EDT 2016

    "Go Rebecca! from Great Aunt Sandy and Great Uncle Ben"

    Sandra Ginsberg

    Wed Jul 06 10:05:00 EDT 2016

    "Doing it for the Good n Plenties (you rock!)"

    Lauriene Madrigal

    Wed Jul 06 07:49:01 EDT 2016

    "Good luck - go girl!"

    Marty Sherman

    Tue Jul 05 05:11:00 EDT 2016

    "From Laura Pasik's brother in law . . . a middle-aged jogger who ran his first (and last) marathon over 20 years ago. Keep on runnin'!"

    Benjamin Norris

    Sat Jul 30 01:35:04 EDT 2016

    "What a wonderful way to honor your grandfather, such a blessing. You are amazing and we love you so much! "

    Sheila and David Marx

    Tue Aug 30 12:29:40 EDT 2016

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $2,888.00 | Goal: $2,000.00
144 %

Make a Donation

We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

My Thanks To

Benjamin Norris $1000.00
Sheila and David Marx $250.00
Laura Pasik $250.00
Ronald Pasik $100.00
Danny Ruben $100.00
Sandra Ginsberg $100.00
Anonymous $100.00
Marty Sherman $90.00
Caroline Norris $72.00
Rachel "Poopsie" Sherman $25.00
Brendan Brown $25.00
Jon Thomas $25.00
Sarah Bannister $25.00
Lauriene Madrigal $25.00
Toni Panzica $25.00
Valerie Reeves $25.00
Elliot Pasik $18.00
Jacquelyn Tolley  
Alicia Pasik  
Aarie Liebreich  
Andy Gitelson & Tracy Klo...  
Marc Tanner  
Jonathan Marx