Golf tourney to raise funds, awareness in battle against leukemia

Every parent can tell you exactly where they were when they heard those words, "your child has cancer."

"My favorite part of school is gym, running around getting all of the thinking out," says Connor Riggs.

Connor wasn't thinking about running when he was a 3-year-old. It was month after month, day after day, second after second that his world and the world of his parents were turned upside down.

"One person had to quit their job to take care of Connor," said his mom, Allison Riggs. He was no longer able to go to daycare, go anywhere. Really, he was in the hospital all the time."

Allison said it was a big change and a rough time for the family – financially and emotionally.

"I have to tell you the biggest thing I have found is that it was the one problem in life that I could not fix," she said.

Whether you're three or 33, the disease has the same effects.

Melody Tagliaferri-Cronin called her doctor after noticing something just didn't feel right. Tests were run, and she was told she had leukemia.

"I was floored. I didn't know what to say," she says.

After several rounds of treatment, she feels – better.

Melody and Connor are two survivors sharing the same story. They have a common goal.

"It's important, because we got to stop it," Melody says. "It's bad. We got to get close to a cure."

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. In attempt to raise funds and awareness in the battle against leukemia and similar diseases, the Ruth's Chris Steak House Sizzling Celebrity Golf Tournament is scheduled for Wednesday at Woodholme Country Club.

More on leukemia - * Source: National Cancer Institute

Definition: Cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of blood cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream. 

Estimated new cases and deaths (2012)

New cases: 47,150

Deaths: 23,540

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