The Gingerbread Project to help raise money for leukemia, lymphoma

For many people, the holidays are about tradition — things you and your family have done together for years or even generations.

Tonight, the Buckley Report has the story of a couple from the Piedmont who have taken a tradition and are now using it to heal both their lives and help others.

It all started in 1998, when Elliot Blue and his first wife, Carol, had an appointment at Duke Medical Center.

Five years later — at only 29, Carol died of Leukemia.

A little while later, Elliot met Lauren through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation, as they both trained for an endurance event.

Lauren’s father, Don Bates, was there to walk her down the aisle at her wedding to Elliot, but died of Lymphoma a couple of years afterward.

Soon, Elliot introduced Lauren to one of his fondest childhood memories — going to a neighbor’s house to bake and decorate gingerbread houses at Christmas time, and they made it part of their life, together.

Lauren saw it as something they could use to heal the wounds of their common loss.

They decided to turn their little gingerbread party into something much bigger — a fundraiser for the foundation that treats the two diseases that took Elliot’s first wife and Lauren’s father.

Elliot and Lauren raised a couple hundred dollars in their first fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation.

This year, with almost 300 people participating, they hope to raise approximately $7,000.

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