Tech Data’s Josh Tehan has experienced every parent’s worst nightmare – being told your child has cancer. His son, Ethan, who is now cancer-free, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at the age of 3 and underwent three years of chemotherapy.
Now that Ethan is living the life of a typical, healthy 15-year-old, his dad wants to help other children and parents going through blood cancer treatment by raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
Josh, a Business Operations Manager with Tech Data’s DLT Solutions team in Herndon, Virginia, has been volunteering for the organization for several years now. He recently was asked to be part of LLS’ Man of the Year 2021 fundraiser. He’s been partnered with 5-year-old Karter and 8-year-old Ella – who would be designated as the LLS National Boy and Girl of the Year if Josh is declared National Man of the Year. To learn more about Karter and Ella, check out this YouTube video.
WANT TO HELP? If you’d like to join Tech Data, which has committed $2,500 to help Josh and his fundraising team raise money in honor of Ethan, Karter, Ella and the scores of other children who have had, still have, or will in the future be diagnosed with a blood cancer, you can donate on Josh’s fundraising page up until June 12.
Karter was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (MLL) at just 16 months old. During his first round of treatment, doctors discovered that 98% of his blood volume was consumed with cancer cells. When the chemo started attacking the cancer, his organs shut down and filled his body with toxins. Karter beat the odds and is now three years out of active treatment and has a very active childhood.
Ella was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) at age 6. After undergoing four rounds of intense treatment, she thought the cancer was gone, but less than a year later, she relapsed and was found to be in need of a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, her older brother was a match. Even though Ella did experience a blood infection and an anaphylactic reaction, she handled the transplant without any major complications. She recently celebrated one year of being cancer free.
Getting to know Karter and Ella, and hearing their stories, takes Josh back to when his own son was first diagnosed.
“Ethan had been complaining of pain in his leg and lower back,” Josh said, “so we took him to the hospital. They sent us to Inova Children’s Hospital for additional tests, and on the second or third day they took us into a room and said, ‘your son has cancer.’
“Seeing the toll it took, not just on my son, but on other kids in that children’s hospital – the impact it had on them, their family members and friends – I just feel a large debt of gratitude to give back to LLS.”
Not only does LLS fund cancer research, but it also has a multitude of education and support programs for cancer patients, their parents, grandparents, siblings – basically anyone affected.
The teams that raise funds during the Man of the Year and Woman of the Year campaigns are awarded these titles in their local communities and the man and woman who raise the most across the entire U.S. will be recognized with the title of National Man and Woman of the Year.
Josh and his fundraising team – which includes Tech Data co-workers Claudia Maldonado, a Sales Operations Specialist in Herndon; Jessica Miller, Senior Manager, Quality, in Clearwater, Florida; and Gloria Cobb, Compliance Manager, Quality Operations Management, also based in Clearwater – have a goal of raising $50,000.
“I just want to give a big thank you to those who can support this effort in any fashion,” said Josh. “Not only are we doing this in support of my son but for all children who deserve to live and enjoy a healthy life.”
About the author.
Kelley Gillenwater is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience – including 10 years as a journalist, five years with a major utility and three leading the public information office for a state environmental protection agency. She is experienced in both internal and external communications strategy and implementation, crisis communications and media relations. She currently serves as Manager, Internal Communications, for Tech Data’s Americas region.