Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 5:20 EDT

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Announces Results Of Groundbreaking “Man & Woman Of The Year” Fundraising Campaign To Fight Blood Cancer

June 18, 2012

Spirited 10-week fundraising competition introduced powerful new techniques to raise money for vital blood cancer research and patient services.

SAN FRANCISCO, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Greater San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) announced the results of its 22nd annual “Man & Woman of the Year” campaign – in which candidates introduced innovative fundraising techniques that garnered headlines around the world – at the Grand Finale at Fairmont San Francisco on June 9.

The team of 11 candidates, who were nominated based on their leadership excellence and passion for community service, raised approximately $600,000 to save and improve the lives of individuals with blood cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.

Roger Royse was named “Man of the Year” and Brianna Haag was honored as “Woman of the Year.” In addition, Haag made history by raising the highest amount of money by any candidate in the 22-year span of the San Francisco Bay Area’s “Man & Woman of the Year” campaign.

“We are so proud to have had these amazingly talented leaders champion our cause,” said Catherine Brown, LLS Executive Director. “We applaud all of their efforts to help pave the way for new and improved therapies that will benefit generations to come.”

Conceived as a grass roots fundraising effort in San Francisco in 1990, the “Man & Woman of The Year” campaign now takes place at 60 LLS chapters nationwide and raised $14 million in 2011. For more about the campaign, please visit www.mwoy.org/sf.

Creative events such as an online auction of meetings with the world’s top venture capitalists and tech founders; an upscale paella cook-off judged by internationally recognized chef Gary Danko; a citywide scavenger hunt consisting of 60 teams honoring local “Amazing Race” winner and cancer survivor, Starr Spangler; and a Mr. Marina contest, which comically leveraged the neighborhood’s young and stylish image for an important cause; expanded traditional concepts of fundraising.

Roger Royse’s Venture Capital Master’s Series offered opportunities to pitch business ideas or seek advice from Silicon Valley tech titans. The meeting with David Lee and his team at SV Angel raised $41,000 alone and generated bids from around the globe.

Below is the list of candidates, several of whom have been touched by blood cancer, who worked with great innovation and dedication to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Past candidates have included Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and celebrity chef Michael Mina.

Craig Adams
Deacon Carpenter
Nelum Gunewardane
Brianna Haag (Her father has chronic lymphoid leukemia.)
Krystelle Jensen
Marilyn Sargent Morgan
Alex Morrison
Krista Rochin (Her cousin and best friend have blood cancer.)
Roger Royse
Christie White (She is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor.)
Tim Williamson

The 2012 Man & Woman of the Year campaign honored two courageous survivors of acute lymphoid leukemia – Emme, age 9, of Lafayette and Alec, age 10, of Oakland. After more than two years of chemotherapy, Emme is full of energy and enjoys playing soccer with her friends. Alec is back to mountain biking, roller coaster rides and school after his long journey through treatment.

Building on the tremendous success of past campaigns, the local chapter of LLS introduced the exciting element of an Honorary Chair, Don Sanchez, who has delighted viewers of KGO-TV News for 40 years. “Thanks to the research and services provided by LLS, someone very close to me has outlived expectations for survival and recently hiked up and down the Grand Canyon. Every minute of every day, LLS is supporting research that is saving lives around the world,” comments Sanchez. The campaign also marked the return of Patricia Fripp, who was the first Woman of the Year, to emcee the festivities with Sanchez.

Since 1949, the privately-funded Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has invested more than $814 million in blood cancer research, which has resulted in medical breakthroughs such as chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplantation. These treatment protocols have proven effective in fighting blood cancer as well as many other forms of the disease.

In 2011, the Greater San Francisco Bay Area chapter of LLS invested nearly $4 million to fund 25 researchers at Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; and University of California, San Francisco. Underscoring the importance of the “Man & Woman of the Year” campaign, LLS reports that a donation of $1,000 supports one week of basic blood cancer research at one of the universities.

In 1960, a child with leukemia had a four percent chance of survival. Advancements in treatment have led to an eighty-five percent survival rate today. However, despite the increased survival rates, the number of leukemia patients has almost doubled and the number of lymphoma patients has tripled since 1975.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. Its mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services. Founded in 1949 in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.lls.org or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572.

SOURCE Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Greater San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

Source: PR Newswire