Dan Long battling leukemia 2010.05.26

Written by David Green.

dan_long.jpgThings were looking up for Morenci’s Dan Long.

He completed training as a dog groomer, bought a building downtown and opened a grooming service.

That was late February. Shortly after he opened the business—and on his birthday, no less—he was diagnosed with acute lymphocystic leukemia (ALL). Three days later he started chemotherapy.

“My life turned upside down very quickly,” Dan said.

ALL generally strikes children, such as Kellen Keiser of Fayette. The victim’s bone marrow develops an abnormal white blood cell that crowds out the healthy cells. The risk of infection grows, and that’s what has kept Dan out of his new business.

“My doctor said she can treat human diseases, but doesn’t know how my body might react to an animal disease.”

He’s experiencing a lot of fatigue and some nausea from the oral chemotherapy, also, which would make working difficult.

Chemo can put the cancer in remission, but not necessarily for good. That’s where a bone marrow transplant comes into play and Dan is now on the national registry with hopes of receiving a transplant at the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit.

Anyone interested in becoming a marrow donor should speak to Dan or visit the national registry website.

“It would not only help me,” he said, “but anyone else who has an autoimmune disorder or other forms of cancer.”

Dan intends to muster the strength to complete a speaking engagement at the Auburn Hills Relay for Life event Saturday, then return to Morenci for a special event in his honor—a fund-raiser at Morenci Skateland to collect donations for the Long family.

It’s going to be a long day, Dan said, but he says he will be at the party.


The “Donations for Dan” benefit concert is scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Morenci Skateland. Various activities are planned in addition to the performances that get underway at 3 p.m.

DJ John Phenomenon will provide music and performances are scheduled by HiZe, Born in Rough Days Entertainment and Dem Ohio Boyz. There will also be a return visit from Universal Records recording artist J-Billz.

A $5 fee will be charged and donations will be taken throughout the day.

DINNER—The Longs will benefit from a second event scheduled June 5 at the Morenci Sportsman’s Club on Mulberry Road.

A $5 all-you-eat spaghetti dinner will begin at 5 p.m., followed by entertainment starting at 8 p.m.

A 50/50 drawing, raffles and an auction are planned, as well as tarot card readings and live entertainment. Raffle prizes include a large-screen television and Sauder furniture.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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