• Created in honor of Eric McLean, the Leukemia Ironman Fundraiser for Eric (L.I.F.E.) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to cancer survivorship by providing assistance to cancer patients in need, scholarship programs, and donating to cancer research laboratories. We will help draw awareness and contribute towards finding more effective treatments, and one day, a cure.

Widow urges blood-marrow donations in Eric McLean's memory

Aug. 19th, 2013 - by Charlie Matthews, Herald Times Reporter

MANITOWOC — Over nearly a decade, Eric McLean went through multiple remissions and relapses before dying of cancer a year ago Friday at age 28, passing away at his parents home in Two Rivers.

Every day, something reminds Cari McLean, now 28, of her late husband whose “Confession Final” video blog has been seen on YouTube by more than 1 million viewers.

“We have a thing with owls ... every time I see a rainbow ... hearing a Harley,” says the young widow of just a few of the sights and sounds triggering memories of the man who relapsed a fifth time days after returning from their honeymoon in the summer of 2011.“We were getting to be normal, then all falling apart at the same time ... rollercoaster after rollercoaster,” said McLean, who had days last winter when she couldn’t get out of bed. “It is OK to feel no one is out there, OK to feel alone, to grieve and cry.

“I shut a lot of people out, not that I was mad at them but didn’t want to face what was really happening ... Eric’s not coming back,” McLean said in the living room of her parents, Mick and Karin Jaeger.

Michael Wynn Nehr - L.I.F.E. gives back

(pictured above - Michael and his cousin Alexa)

August 12, 2013 - Below is an email received from 28 year old Michael Wynn Nehr of St. Peters, Missouri who is currently battling Gastrointestinal Stromal Sarcoma of the Stomach.  The amazing social workers at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis sent him in our direction - below is his story.

"Hello! My name is Michael Wynn Nehr, and I am 28, from St. Peters, Missouri.  I am so lucky, and don't quite understand all of this yet. I want to give a huge thanks to the McLean Family, and all the people who have donated to the L.I.F.E. charity. The help I received was more than I could ask for, and was an encouraging surprise. I received a call from Mary McLean, on a Sunday night and we chatted for a while about my situation, and I was so happy to have spoken to her. It has helped me a great deal and I couldn't be more appreciative. So, here is why I got that call.

Tracey Bailey - L.I.F.E. Gives Back

Hello my Name is Tracey Ann Bailey.  On May 30th, 2013 My Life was forever changed.  I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, which is just one of the many struggles I have had to deal with at 28 years old.  After losing my mother only a couple of months before, I felt as though I could not take this head on, and I became deeply depressed.  I thought I could not mentally or physically put up a good fight, but then I had to think I'm only 28, and I have my whole life a head of me.  I have no kids, but I do have a younger brother whom I've taken sole responsibility of after my mom died.  I must fight for him, not just for me.  So with that I came up with a slogan "Fight Violet Not Violence " and I plan to make t-shirts hats etc #TeamViolet  Making the best of what I thought was the worst. .....#MyStory


  • The reason that these years have been the best is that I think that I might have had a somewhat positive impact on your lives and perhaps your understanding of what cancer is and what it can do, to both those of us that it has personally attacked and those of us who know someone who is going through it. -Eric McLean
  • I just want children to be left with a better life than what I was left with," he said. "I want them to experience the feeling I had in my life when I realized that I really mattered.
    ~ Larry Hisle
  • Realistically, I have two more Olympic cycles in me. I'm not going to let this beat me.  I've gained a lot of strength from you guys, if Eric can fight 5 times over I can overcome this one year of setbacks.
    ~ Chris Solinsky
  • Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men. ~ Albert Einstein
  • Never, never, never give up.
    ~ Winston Churchill
  • I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me! ~ Dr. Seuss
  • Once you choose hope, anything's possible.
    ~ Christopher Reeve
  • If you're going through hell, keep going.
    ~ Winston Churchill