In the Community: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Big Climb

May 18, 2021 | 2021, Community

This month, Sutter Health Plus and Sutter Health Plan Partnerships & Products employees, their families, and friends came together virtually to participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Big Climb event. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting blood cancer in the world. The LLS’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Sue Stephenson, Sutter Health Plus Director of Quality and Accreditation, shares her personal story of how her family has been affected by blood cancer below.

Sue Stephenson headshot

“My daughter Jessyca was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma four months after she graduated from high school. Jessyca’s illness and her treatment became our family’s whole life.”

Sue Stephenson, Sutter Health Plus Director of Quality and Accreditation

Through her battle, she did not stop fighting through the pain of her disease—even as she worked full-time and attended college classes. As her mother, I was so proud of her strength, but as a nurse, I worried about how much stress she put on her body.

In 2005, after chemotherapy, multiple relapses, a bone marrow transplant, and complications, Jessyca lost her battle 17 months after diagnosis. She was 19 years old. During our journey, we found so much comfort from the services offered by the LLS. I support the LLS in their pursuit of a cure for blood cancers in honor of Jessyca so that other families do not have to experience the loss of a child.”

On May 15, participants were asked to walk or climb the number of steps it takes to reach the top of San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower to raise awareness for the fight against blood cancer. This year, the team raised $6,956!