Jesse Pagels, husband of LLG attorney Sarah E. Thomas Pagels, was diagnosed in 2003 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Following rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant, Jesse was cured of Leukemia.

Sadly, these treatments had some very serious unintended consequences, and in late 2004 Jesse developed pulmonary fibrosis in his lungs. This diagnosis would be devastating for anyone, but for Jesse, a professional trumpet player and runner, it was particularly harrowing. By 2006 Jesse could no longer play the trumpet or run, and the condition just kept getting worse as even the most simple daily tasks grew increasingly difficult. Jesse’s condition eventually resulted in decreasing his lung function to the point where he required supplemental oxygen 24-hours a day, and in 2012 he was placed on a lung transplant list.

In August of 2013, Jesse received a call from his transplant center with great news: they had a matching set of lungs for him and he would receive a double lung transplant. Because of this tremendous gift of life Jesse is once again a runner and trumpet player.

In 2015, Jesse founded the non-profit Cream City 5K as a vehicle to raise awareness of and support for organ, eye, and tissue donation. The annual 5k run donates its proceeds to the BloodCenter of Wisconsin. The BloodCenter is home of the Wisconsin Donor Network, a federally designated organ procurement organization supporting the transplant community in eastern Wisconsin.

Laffey, Leitner & Goode LLC is proud to serve as a lead sponsor for the 2017 Cream City 5K. Jesse and Sarah’s incredible strength and perseverance continues to inspire all of us at LLG. Jesse’s selflessness and determination to help others and bring attention to this incredible cause is the very definition of our core principals: relentless, inspired, committed, authentic.

This year’s Cream City 5K will begins at 9AM on April 29th at Greenfield Park. The event features a 5K run, 1.5 mile walk, and a .25 mile kid’s fun run. Awards are given for the top 3 men’s and women’s finishers, as well as the top men’s and women’s masters finishers.

We encourage you to lend your support to the Cream City 5K by registering to run or walk and/or donating to the organization. For more information, to register, and to donate please visit the Cream City 5K website.