• 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.

Research study dedicated to Eric is nearing publication

The research team at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research has informed us that their paper is nearing publication into the Journal of Clinical Investigation!  The study is being led by Associate Professor of Oncology, Dr. Jing Zhang.

In October 2011, Eric and Mike McLean were able to visit with lab director Dr. James Shull and sit in Dr. Zhang's lecture hall through one of her oncology courses prior to making LIFE's first donation towards their research.  2 years later in September 2013, LIFE returned to make an additional donation to help keep it going.  Professor Zhang has so kindly wrote the following dedication that will be included in the paper:

"We would like to dedicate this work to Eric McLean, who fought bravely with AML for nine years and passed away in August 2012. The Leukemia Ironman Fundraiser For Eric, a non-profit organization founded by his family, provided initial financial support for this project."

As always, we greatly appreciate your continuous support to our research and we are working hard to expand the mouse work into a more humanized model.


Their research team has been working tirelessly towards achieving better treatments, and a cure, for the exact type of cancer our beloved Eric so bravely fought against.  It has been through the extremely generous donations of our supporters, the Blake Becker Multisport Club, and our Team LIFE members, that we have been able to help with this endeavor, thank you all so much.

L.I.F.E. Gives Back - Alison W

We received a letter today from Alison W, a 29 year old battling refractory Hodgkins Lymphoma that we thought we'd share with you all.  Thank you to all of our supporters for making it possible to help this young woman in need.

Mary, I received the check in the mail today. THANK YOU so very much for your kindness! It is going to help me immensely!! <3

My story goes a little something like this:

On August 18th 2010, I was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I started seeing a local Oncologist who began a chemotherapy regiment. After eight months, my scan came back clear and I was taken off the chemo. A few months later the cancer came back and they started me on another type of chemo. This also helped for awhile, but then the cancer came back. At this point my local doctor referred me to a bone marrow transplant specialist at the Mayo Clinic.

I was in my third semester of school and wanted to graduate with my class, so I asked to postpone the transplant until after I graduated. December 2011, I not only walked across the stage with my class to receive my degree with honors, but was also the commencement speaker and graduated as the "Outstanding Student" for my program.

After graduation it was time for an autogenic transplant. The transplant seemed to be successful for awhile, and then again my scan came back with uptake. At this point, they tried another chemo treatment, and again, it only worked for awhile before the stubborn cancer came back.

Currently, I am on my second clinical trial, and as always, it seems to work for awhile and then the cancer comes back. There is talk of an allogeneic transplant in my near future, so we will take it as it comes. As for now, I focus on life day by day and try to enjoy every one to the fullest!

Thank you so much to the McLean Family for your compassion and generosity! You have made my journey easier, and filled it with more hope and smiles!

Alison Will


  • 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