By Debbie Kornberg
It was less than six years ago when Idan Mualim was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) T-cell by his pediatrician Dr. Stuart Rubenstein of Carmel Valley. Idan was only 4 years old at the time and still in preschool. On that day everything stopped for him and his family. Idan was immediately admitted to Rady Children’s Hospital for care. I still remember his mom, Susan, telling me how they handed her one gigantic binder for the two-and-a-half years of treatment that Idan would be enduring. Inside the binder it contained all of the terrible things that could happen to him during his treatment, and the binder was right. Many of the horrible medical conditions did happen to Idan.
For two years he had weekly chemotherapy treatment, he received cranial radiation for two weeks, he developed blood clots in his lungs and heart, and the one in his heart has never fully dissolved — one night he went into septic shock. Fortunately, his nurse knew exactly what to do and saved his life. Through it all, Idan managed to be one of the lucky children to survive this terrible disease. Today, the happy 12-year-old is able to live the life that every pre-teen should, going to summer camp, hanging out with his friends and enjoying the world around him. Susan has often shared how vital the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) was during their years of treatment. The organization not only continues to fund research to help find new and improved forms of treatment, but they also help individual families like hers as they go through the illness.
Five months ago, Susan invited a group of girlfriends to a Team in Training meeting for LLS. There we learned how we could help make a difference, too, instead of just being on the sidelines. We could raise money for the LLS by running or walking in a half marathon. As a team, we decided to participate in the San Francisco Half Marathon on Oct. 16, 2011 and call ourselves Idan’s Fans. Since that first night, we have learned how to prepare for this big event by having weekly meetings and enjoy getting together as a group. With our mentor Susan, who has already run the Carlsbad Marathon for LLS, and coach Kerry, we are learning the finer points of training for a 13.1-mile race. In turn, we are asked to each fundraise to help find a cure for these terrible diseases. While the training is hard, running as a team has been so much fun. You can become an Idan’s Fan, too, and support the cause. Join us for a Souplantation Night in Carmel Valley, 3804 Valley Centre Drive on Thursday, Sept. 8, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Twenty percent of the evening’s profits will go to Idan’s Fans Team In Training’s, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Go to http://
to print out a Souplantation flyer or just cut out this article from the paper and bring it to Souplantation on Sept. 8.