DeCock: Family's fundraiser to fight cancer a big hit

ldecock@newsobserver.comFebruary 26, 2014 

Back in September, I wrote about the Jankowsky family and the fundraiser they held to raise money for research into blood cancers. It was a particularly personal cause: The father, Alex, has been undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma since 2011 and his three boys parlayed their love of dirt bikes into a charity exhibition at Brier Creek.

“Cranks 4 Cancer” has been an enduring success on a couple fronts. Not only did they raise more than $20,000 for Duke’s multiple myeloma program, Alex was able to attend despite being gravely ill, watching from inside a motor home. And he was at Monday’s ceremony at Duke’s Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinic when the family handed over the check to Alex’s doctor at Duke, Cristina Gasparetto.

“It was a really great event,” said Renee Jankowsky, Alex’s wife, who owns Generations Salon and Day Spa at Brier Creek. “We had a lot of people. And we raised a lot of money, for the first event ever.”

Alex, who has been undergoing months of chemotherapy, is going back into Duke Hospital for another stem-cell transplant Thursday and faces a long and difficult recovery, so Renee said the family won’t have the time or energy to duplicate this year’s festivities next fall, but they do plan to hold some kind of fund-raiser again next September.

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