Play Ottoneu And Punch Cancer In The Face

As many of you know, last July I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I spent a good chunk of the summer in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy, and most of the end of 2011 was spent either getting treatment or recovering from said treatment. It wasn’t much fun — but after four rounds of chemo and an overwhelming amount of support from friends and the amazing online baseball community — I was given a clean bill of health in January and am now happily living in remission. We’re only a month out from my last biopsy, but the leukemia has yet to return, and my odds of beating this thing get better every day.

So, now that I’m back to living something that resembles a normal life, my wife and I have decided to fight back against the scourge of blood cancers. She’s a physician assistant in oncology and sees the effects of these diseases are on a daily basis, and so we’ve teamed up with four of her co-workers (and one husband of a co-worker) and are running in The Flying Pig half-marathon in Cincinnati on May 6th.

Our group is part of a larger organization under the umbrella of Team In Training, a fundraising arm of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. LLS is the leading organization in the fight against blood cancers, and it provides support (financial, informational and emotional) to patients and families of these diseases, as well as funding critical research that is on the cutting edge of the fight against leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease and myeloma. The advances made in these fields are one of the reasons I’m not dead, and the LLS is a vital organization for those who have been touched by these types of cancer.

The seven of us have an official team fundraising goal of just over $16,000. I fully expect to blow that mark out of the water. This is where you guys come in.

If you’d like to donate to the LLS through our team page, you can simply follow this link and use the donate button on the right hand side to give directly to the group. All donations are tax deductible, and you will get a receipt from LLS for your contribution. Plus, you’ll know that you did something awesome, and those who fight these diseases in the future may very well beat death because of your support.

Additionally, I’ve decided to unretire from fantasy baseball to help raise money for the cause. As an incentive to donate, we’re going to be giving away 11 spots in an Ottoneu League to the highest donors who want to take their shot at embarrassing me on a national stage. I haven’t played any kind of roto baseball in quite some time, but I still have my pride, and I’ll be doing my best to retain some dignity against the 11 heroes who gave generously given to help stamp out the curse of blood cancers.

If you want to be part of this “Cancer Sucks” Ottoneu League, simply go to our group page and make a (large) donation using your real name. Then, send an email to stating that you’re interested in being part of the Ottoneu League. At the end of February, we’ll go through the donation logs and find the 10 people who gave the most money and expressed interest, and they’ll be offered a team in the league. As an incentive to not wait until the last minute, we’ll be giving away the first spot in the league to the person who donates the most money by this Friday. If you give more than anyone else in the next three days, you’re in.

The LLS is rated as a three-star charity and is a fantastic organization that is more than worthy of your support. Only 8% of the money raised goes to administrative costs, and they’ve given more than $600 million to cancer research since being founded. Help us raise money for this great organization and simultaneously tell cancer that it can go pound sand.

Thanks to each of you for your support over the past six months. You guys are great, and I’m honored to be part of such a fantastic community.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.