Hudson -- A local fundraising team, which includes two members who have blood cancer, is looking for help in its fight to help end the killer disease leukemia.
Six years ago, Terri Cash, of Hudson, was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia.
"It used to be a very poor prognosis when you got this type of leukemia," Cash said. "The average life span was three to five years."
When Cash was diagnosed, her children were 2, 4 and 8, she said.
"It was pretty traumatic," Cash said.
Cash, whose husband, Shelby, is a physician with an office in Hudson, credits her recovery to a cancer-fighing drug, "Gleevec."
"Now it's a wonderful prognosis," Cash added.
The team includes Ava Turner, a 6-year-old from Munroe Falls who battling a different type of leukemia.
"She is undergoing 18 months of chemo," Cash said. "She has been selected to be an Honored Hero for this year's Light the Night Walk. Her family held a garage sale and donated all the proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society."
Ava is in the "maintenance phase of her treatment," Cash said.
"She takes oral chemo nightly and chemo in her spine every 85 days," according to Cash.
Ava's mom, Robin, is co-captain of the team.
"I met Terri through her husband Dr. Shelby Cash, who is actually my primary care physician," Robin said. "They are an amazing family and share the passion for a cure that we do."
Ava has been fighting caner since 2011.
She was devastated to lose her "Rapunzel" hair, Robin said.
However, when her hair fell out, her parents shaved their heads in support, so she would not feel alone.
Ava's sister, Megan, asked if she could shave her hair too.
"No Sissy, we don't want anyone at school to bully you," Ava told her older sister, now 10.
When talking about Ava's cancer, the family calls it her "dragon."
"She is the brave, rock star, warrior princess who is fighting her dragon off with the help of the army of life saving medications she takes daily along with the help of the all the doctors, therapists and nurses," Robin said. "She will tell you her meds taste nasty and even now will still try to get out of taking them several times on a weekly basis. All of these medications have been part of her treatment protocol for nearly two years."
Ava has six more months before she can be deemed "in full remission," Robin said.
"She has told me that she wants a giant 'no more cancer' party this spring and she wants to be a chemo nurse and a rock star when she grows up," Robin said. "She loves to sing and if you ask her she will sing you one of her cancer songs she has made up along her journey -- some are country, some are pop and there's even a heavy metal ditty."
Robin has already started to plan the party, she said.
The team will participate in Light the Night Walk Sept. 22 at the University of Akron.
The team's goal is to raise $10,000. It has raised about 1/2, Cash said.
The event is a 1-mile evening fundraising walk, where participants hold balloons which light up.
"The reason we do it is that our kids can do it with us," Cash said. "It's more symbolic. People carry white balloons if they are a survivor, red balloons as supporters and gold balloons in memory of someone who lost their life to blood cancer."
In the last six years, the team has donated about $20,000 to help battle leukemia.
"It's so easy to make a difference, even with a small donation," Cash said. "I know there are a lot of worthy charities out there, but what's nice about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is that so much of the funds go toward research -- and because of that lifesaving medication -- I am appreciative of research."
Cash called herself "a walking example of why this is such a worthwhile charity."
"After being diagnosed with CML, I have met many people here in Hudson who bravely fight leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma," Cash said. "I also know people who have lost loved ones due to these conditions. Yet I know there is hope for successful treatment -- Ava and I are both living proof of this and this is why it is so important to raise funds for more research."
Cash's team will also sponsor two Halloween fundraisers at Marcelita's, 777 Darrow Road, in October.
New team members are welcome as are donations, Cash said.
To join the team contact Cash at email@example.com or to make a donation visit www.lightthenight.org and click the link for "find a participant/team" in the top right corner and search for "Cash for a Cure."