You’ve probably heard of Team in Training and Light the Night, right? Team in Training trains people to run marathons and helps them fund raise (like the Nike Half that my sister Jenn ran in in San Francisco in October 2012), and Light the Night is a really neat fundraiser/walk held each year where people walk with different color balloons based on their journey with cancer (we participated in this one). Both of these events are fundraisers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). LLS has a moto: Someday is today. And their mission is to raise awareness and money to help find the cure for blood cancers.
The third big fundraiser that LLS runs each year is called the Man & Woman (& Students!) of the Year Campaign. Men and women from the community race against each other in a competition to raise the most money for LLS. Each candidate is nominated by the nominating committee, and they commit to ten weeks of super-intense fundraising. At the end of the ten week period a large gala is held, along with a silent and live auction, and the winner of each category is announced. Students are also allowed to campaign, and they run in teams of two.
Most of the candidates have a connection to blood cancer -either they or someone they love has gone through it. But each year a Boy and Girl of the Year are chosen to serve as motivation and inspiration throughout the campaign. They are local blood cancer survivors, and they join the fundraising efforts to share their stories and help the candidates in their endeavors. The Boy & Girl do not have to fund raise themselves.
This year Emily was nominated as the Girl of the Year, and we have been so blessed to meet and help the candidates with their events. Over and over gain -since Emily was diagnosed -I have been blown away by the generosity and care that people have toward others. These men, women, and students spend a huge amount of time on their campaigns -in addition to their regular jobs/studies. They each have a team behind them, but I still don’t know how they do it. It is a huge commitment.
To help with the campaigns (though, really, we aren’t doing much), we filmed a video of Emily’s story and we attend any of the fundraising events that we are invited to. We’ve shared her story with the candidates, and we’re rooting for them! In the end, regardless of who wins, all the money is going to the LLS, so we’re all winners (cliche, I know).
Here is the video:
And here are pictures from some of the events we’ve attended so far:
The Boy of the Year is a sweet, sweet 11 year old who just entered his Maintenance Phase of treatment last November. Out of all the boys and girls in the Sacramento area who could have been chosen for these roles, both Garrett and Emily are being treated at UCD by Dr. Ducore -it’s a fun coincidence.
We’re already halfway through the ten week campaign, but I’ll update with photos as we can.