Deena's Friends for a Cure
Deena's Friends for a Cure
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About Deena  ·  My Brother Rand  ·  Deena's Friends for a Cure  ·  Delete Blood Cancer DKMS
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society  ·  Team in Training  ·  2010 Man & Woman of the Year 

About Deena

My name is Deena Alansky, and I lost my big brother to leukemia on February 18, 2004. He was only 45 years old and was my only sibling. That was one of the saddest days of my life, as you can imagine. But, out of my grief has grown an overwhelming desire to help other patients and families stricken with leukemia and other blood-related cancers. I have been involved with the National Bone Marrow Registry and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ever since. In December 2003, I organized my first fundraiser (a benefit concert) on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), and in 2004 I volunteered at my first marrow registration drive through Amy's Army.

Over the years, I've been a volunteer and a participant for the Light the Night Walks, persuaded my running club to donate the proceeds from its annual Red Dress Run to the LLS, and created the website (and update it each year) for the annual Charity Bar Crawl, which also raises money for the LLS via Team in Training.


In 2010, I was a candidate in the "2010 Man and Woman of the Year Campaign" to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! This was a 10-week contest among Western PA community & professional leaders to raise funds from March 10, 2010 through May 19, 2010. I came in second place, having raised a grand total of $8,476.51. (My participation in that event was the inspiration for this website!)

In Spring of 2012, I organized a series of FIVE FUNDRAISING EVENTS to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society via Team in Training. I was inspired by two friends, Doug Belkofer and Don Splitstone, who were both participants in Team in Training that year. I raised approximately $5,000, and split the funds 50/50 between my two friends' TNT campaign pages to help them reach their personal fundraising goals.

In January of 2014, I organized a Bone Marrow Registration Drive and Fundraising Event (Party for the Cure!) that was held on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 in honor of the 10th anniversary of my brother's death. It took place at Fox & Hound at Northway Mall in Pittsburgh's North Hills. The Marrow Drive was from 12-8 PM, and the Fundraiser was from 6-10 PM. Donations, which benefited both Delete Blood Cancer DKMS and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, were split 50/50 between the two charities. The fundraiser Included a delicious appetizer buffet featuring:  wings, onion rings, pretzel sticks, cheddar jack cheese wedges, and an assorted veggie tray, drink specials, plus four free hours of pool are included. A 50/50 raffle was also held.


Deena's Friends for a Cure Supports Delete Blood Cancer's Life-Saving Mission.

About My Brother Rand
Rand's Air Force Photo, 1977

My brother, Rand E. Alansky, who lost his battle with leukemia in 2004. He was one of the kindest people I ever had the privilege of knowing in my lifetime, and he never had a negative word to say about anyone. He was a loving and caring person, and I miss him every day. After he died, I learned that he had saved every letter I ever wrote to him when he was in the Air Force and even after that, throughout his life. I know my letters must have meant a lot to him, since he kept them all those years. We argued like brother and sister, and we loved each other as only a brother and sister can, through thick and thin. You can read about my brother's battle with leukemia at:

After my brother fell out of remission, a bone marrow transplant was his last hope for survival. I was tested, and my tissue type was not a match. And not ONE person in the entire world-wide marrow registry database was a match, either! This has inspired me to become an outspoken advocate for the National Bone Marrow Registry. You can join the Marrow Registry for FREE at: The test to join is just a cheek swab. Register Online, and you'll receive the cheek swab testing kit in the mail. It's FREE and it's never been EASIER to join. If someday you're ever found to be a match, you might truly help save a life.


Related Links:

Super-Cool YouTube Marrow Videos

Deena's Marrow Donor Education Website

1977, Rand in the Air Force
Deena & Rand at Shadyside Hospital, May 2003
May '03, Shadyside Hospital
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About Deena's Friends for a Cure
What exactly is "Deena's Friends for a Cure" anyway? In 2010 when I was a candidate in the 2010 Man & Woman of the Year Campaign, I was told by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that I should create a TEAM NAME to describe my dedicated team of volunteers who had signed up to help me during the 10-week contest. At a brainstorming meeting at Panera bread in Oakland, a month before the contest started, I wanted to call the team, "Friends for a Cure." But, my friends convinced me that I should put my name in the team name to identify it clearly for fundraising purposes. I protested for a while, but eventually their logic overruled my initial reservations, and a new team name was born!


Once we had decided on a team name, I decided to create a website to promote the campaign, provide details on upcoming events, and promote awareness for the National Bone Marrow Registry. The website also turned into a means for me to share my personal journey with you on how I became involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team in Training. in 2014 the Deena's Friends for a Cure website helped me tell my story again, and inform the public about my upcoming Marrow Registration Drive and Fundraiser, which took place on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.


I'm sure I will be involved in more bone marrow registration drives and fundraising events in the future, and this website will forever be my personal place to help educate the public and share these important events. As always, thank you for your continued support. It means the world to me.

Deena Alansky, Volunteer, Community Educator & Charity Fundraiser

Volunteer Bone Marrow Drive Coordinator & Fundraiser for Delete Blood Cancer

Volunteer Educator & Fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Support Delete Blood Cancer's Life-Saving Mission
Deena's Friends for a Cure Facebook Fan Page

About Delete Blood Cancer DKMS

DELETE BLOOD CANCER:  Delete Blood Cancer (Formerly DKMS) is a nonprofit organization that leads the fight to delete blood cancer by empowering people to take action, give bone marrow (or blood stem cells) and save lives. With over 3 million registered bone marrow donors worldwide, Delete Blood Cancer is part of the world's largest bone marrow donor center. They also sponsor and assist individuals like ME to organize my own bone marrow drive.




In 1990, Katharina Harf’s life changed forever when her mother, Mechtild, was diagnosed with an acute form of blood cancer. Her family was told that a bone marrow transplant could save her mother's life, if she could find a matching donor. With the odds of finding a match ranging from one in 20,000 to one in millions, having only 3000 donors available in Germany at the time made the situation seem hopeless.

Determined to make the impossible, possible, Katharina’s father, Peter Harf, made it his mission to find his wife a donor. With the help of family, friends and volunteers, he worked tirelessly to recruit 68,000 bone marrow donors in only one year.


Recognizing that the need for bone marrow donors extended far beyond his wife, Harf, together with his wife's physician, Professor Dr. Gerhard Ehninger, founded Delete Blood Cancer DKMS Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei gGmbH (Translation:  German Bone Marrow Donor Center) in Germany in 1991. Sadly, that same year, Mechtild lost her hard-fought battle with blood cancer. Katharina was only fourteen.


Katharina’s mother's death shaped her life in many significant ways. It motivates her to continue the lifesaving work that her father began in 1990. Katharina’s goal in life is to help other blood cancer patients, so that no family has to endure the pain hers suffered.


In 2004, Katharina led the expansion of Delete Blood Cancer into the United States. Through this effort, Delete Blood Cancer has established a national donor recruitment program to increase and diversify the donor registry. With campaigns throughout the U.S., Delete Blood Cancer is also raising awareness about the urgent need for bone marrow donors.


What began as a mission to save one woman, has become a global movement dedicated to saving everyone with blood cancer. Please join us in the fight against blood cancer.


Learn about joining the Bone Marrow Registry!

Delete Blood Cancer DKMS
About the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. LLS's mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since the first funding in 1954, LLS has awarded more than $680 million in research funding. The LLS is currently funding four researchers in the Pittsburgh area!

I volunteer with a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit group called Amy's Army, named after a Pittsburgh girl who was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2003 at the age of 10. Just like my brother, there was no matching donor for Amy in her family or in the marrow registry. Amy's Army was formed to organize marrow screening drives in the hopes of finding a matching marrow donor (stem cell donor) for Amy, while helping others by enlarging the ranks of the marrow registry. Amy's Army has added over 10,000 volunteers to the marrow registry and found matches for 25 patients in need, but there is still no matching marrow donor for Amy.

So, why mention Amy on this web site? Because, although there is currently no matching donor for the now 19-year-old Amy, she remains in remission and is doing phenomenally well because of a relatively new "designer" chemotherapy drug that she takes every day called
GLEEVEC. Gleevec was developed with research funds from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! I have seen right before my very eyes how a beautiful young lady has grown up, and is alive and well today because of generous donors like YOU!

Without donations from caring people like YOU, there would be no money for researchers to create cutting-edge new chemotherapy drugs, like Gleevec. And, as you can imagine, federal money for blood cancer research has been dramatically slashed in the government's budget for the past few years, so support from donors is even more crucial now, than ever before. Thank you for your support.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
About Team in Training

The FIVE EVENTS that I organized in April & May of 2012 and the 9th Annual "Fill the Mug" Charity Bar Crawl (May 2012) raised funds to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training (TNT). Team in Training is a fundraising program offered by Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that helps train people to run or walk a full or half marathon, cycle a century ride, or complete a triathlon. In exchange for free trainers provided by the LLS, (who also happen to be volunteers), TNT participants pledge to raise thousands of dollars for the LLS while training for their athletic events. For additional TNT information, contact the Western PA/West Virginia Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at 1-800-726-2873 or 412-395-2873.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training
About the 2010 Man & Woman of the Year Campaign
Man & Woman of the Year
I am honored to have been a candidate in the "2010 Man and Woman of the Year Campaign" to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! The contest was a 10-week friendly competition among Western Pennsylvania community & professional leaders to see who could raise the most funds from March 10, 2010 through May 19, 2010. I came in second place, having raised a grand total of $8,476.51.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman of the Year Campaign began in Northern California in 1990. In 2009 the campaign was launched nationally. The Pittsburgh Area’s 2010 Man & Woman of the Year campaign is expected to raise $157,000 to fund LLS’s mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
My personal goals for the campaign were to shine a light on the great work being done by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and to raise awareness for the National Bone Marrow Registry. Donations to the LLS help fund research to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-related cancers, while also providing valuable services to patients and their families.

Sponsors, candidates, campaign teams, friends, family, survivors, and other LLS supporters gathered for the announcement of the Man & Woman of the Year on May 21, 2010. The evening included cocktails, food, music, a reverse raffle to win a Mercedes-Benz and a silent auction.  Attendance was around 500-600.
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