150187-2I am humbled to be nominated as a candidate for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s 2015 Man & Woman of the Year. Though neither Leukemia nor Lymphoma have impacted those near and dear to me, cancer has. My favourite uncle, Les Hooper, was diagnosed with colon cancer about 15 years ago. He fought a short but brave battle with that nasty disease. How does this tie into my raising funds for LLS? The research that LLS does, flows through to many other cancers and ultimately helps other cancer patients.

The reality of the situation is that blood cancer does not discriminate and it is shocking how many children are stricken. In fact, leukemia still causes more deaths among children than any other cancer. I am encouraged by the amazing advancements being made and the unbelievable increase in survival rates. Just look at our wonderful Boy and Girl of the year!

In 2010, just a week after Dylan’s 9th birthday, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. His is a rare form of leukemia called Philadelphia Chromosome positive. Dylan endured two and a half years of chemotherapy and took part in a clinical trial. His last treatment was May 2013 and today he is going great!

In January 2009, at the sweet young age of 5, Kyra was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoid Leukemia. Kyra was administered chemotherapy here in Savannah at the Children’s Hospital located at Memorial Health. She spent 2 ½ years taking pills and being poked and prodded as doctors and nurses worked with her family to make her better. Finally she celebrated her last treatment on April 25, 2011, and today she is doing great!

More than 1 million Americans are living with blood cancers and every charitable dollar you contribute makes a difference. During this campaign from March 26 – June 5 our class is working towards the goal of raising $310,000. My personal goal is $10,000 which would fund a researcher for one year. These funds go directly to LLS in support of its longstanding mission to find a cure for blood cancers and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. That number seems overwhelming, and it would not be possible to even target without the support of generous, community-minded donors like you.

How can you help?

Please Donate. With your support of a tax-deductible contribution, LLS can continue funding critical research in the fight against blood cancers, as well as provide outstanding patient services. To make a secure online contribution, please visit my website by clicking "give" below, or complete the attached donation form along with your check and send them back to me by June 5, 2015.