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Confronting the terror within
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Why I Give
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Spring 2002
Why I Give
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"That's when I realized what my doctor had been so concerned about," Moell recalls. "It's easy to put chemo into your body. What's hard — and the reason I needed to be at UCLA — is managing the complications."

Moell fought for her life, with the medical staff battling right beside her.

"I got top-notch, very personal medical care," she says. "The nursing and medical staff, including my physician, Dr. Mary Territo, were wonderful."

Toward the end of her recovery, Moell's parents called from their home in Missouri. They'd sent a contribution to UCLA, they told her, to support leukemia research.

"They'd been pretty scared," she recalls, "that I wasn't going to survive."

Soon after, Moell had a kind of epiphany. "I remember thinking, 'I really want to be able to give something, too.' But I couldn't afford to be a big-donor type of person.

"And then, all of a sudden," she says, "I don't know how to explain, because it's not like you can barter with God — but I wanted God to know that this was something that I really wanted to do."

Her plan began to emerge: She would give UCLA $100 on the first anniversary of her remission, and add $100 for every year she survived after that.

Moell sends her contribution, in support of leukemia research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, every year around Christmas. Last year she wrote a check for $1,800 — 18 years cancer-free.

"Writing that check is exhilarating," she says. "I never really expected I'd get this far. But it isn't really about my survival anymore, but about how can I help to make it happen for others."

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