The 2016 Leukemia & Lymphoma Man and Woman of the Year Candidates Aim Higher then Ever Before

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19 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_Briana Walsh, Senior Campaign Manager of LLS Silicon Valley and Monterey

Words and Interview: Ana L. Roman

Photos: Philip Rohlik

Last Wednesday the LLS Chapter of Silicon Valley and Monterey held their annual Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man and Woman of the Year Kick-Off event at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.

52 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_Ben Beesley (pictured right) the 2012 LLS Man of the Year with supporters in attendance.

These Man & Woman of the Year candidates are exceptional people – dedicated, spirited, and determined. They are pillars in their communities and relentless in their fight against blood cancer.

68 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_Watch out Monterey and Carmel, because for the next 10 Weeks you’ll be seeing these candidates fundraising for the LLS with enthusiastic vigor and passion.

62 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_Armaan & Daisy, The 2015 LLS Boy and Girl of the Year

We got the chance to catch up with each candidate at the event and ask them how being nominated has changed their life and what they hope to achieve in the weeks ahead.

NANCY SCHEID (click to donate to Nancy’s MWOY campaign)

70 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_

How has being nominated changed your life and what do you hope to achieve in the weeks ahead?

As the first campaign manager for the Monterey Man and Woman of the Year campaign being nominated was a true honor and a blessing.  I already knew how unique this 10-week campaign is and the difference it can make in our community by bringing people together with a common goal and mission.  Being a candidate for Woman of the Year has given me a way to honor one of my best friends who lost his 4-year battle with cancer just before Christmas.  Over this 10-week campaign I hope my efforts to raise money to fund research will also bring awareness to the ground-breaking research that LLS funds and the fabulous way it supports the people who are fighting blood cancer.

KIMBERLY PEREIRA (click to donate to Kimberly’s MWOY campaign)

17 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_

How has being nominated changed your life and what do you hope to achieve in the weeks ahead?

I have been fundraising for LLS for the past 10 years and will continue to do so until we find a cure. This nomination has changed my life by inspiring me to remain relentless in my journey to find the cure so others won’t suffer as my sister, Jen, courageously did. Jen passed away on May 19, 2010 at the age of 24 from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. What I hope to achieve has always remained constant: to save lives, honor patients and their families who have suffered from the disease in the past, present, and future. Also, to honor those who have donated their time, money, their blood, and their bone marrow to save the life of a friend, relative, or even a stranger. My biggest goal is to honor Jen’s wishes and to honor her name. I do it for the love of Jen.
NATASHA DiPRETORO (click to donate to Kimberly’s MWOY campaign)
16 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_Natasha with her Campaign Supporters is 3rd from Left

How has being nominated changed your life and what do you hope to achieve in the weeks ahead?

Being nominated is an honor but also an amazing opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of people affected by cancer. Helping others by using my time and resources is a passion I have always had.  I hope that in these next ten weeks my friends, family and colleagues come together and help us come closer to finding a cure. We have an amazing community filled with compassion and generosity and I can’t wait to see everyone step up.

PARRIS HODGES (click to donate to Parris’ MWOY campaign)

55 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_Parris with her Campaign Supporters is 3rd from Left

How has being nominated changed your life and what do you hope to achieve in the weeks ahead?

My life was effected at a very early age by Leukemia, when I lost my best friend and grandmother at the age of 6.  Then in 2014 I lost my best friend, Kassalina Schroeder, from college who fought an incredibly courageous battle 11 month battle with AML.  Kassi was only 27 and left behind a husband and 2 very young daughters.  Then just a week before the kickoff another dear friend of mine was diagnosed with ALL.  I feel incredibly fortunate to be a healthy and able-bodied person and know that we can’t sit back and do nothing.  I have seen first hand the incredible work of the LLS and it’s an incredibly humbling experience to be able to be a part of it and hopefully help make a difference in the lives of those battling Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Being nominated for the LLS Man Woman of the Year has added a lot more meaning to my life, and to my late friend Kassalina ‘Kassi’ Schroeder’s life as well.  I am fundraising on behalf of Team Kassi which our group of friends have set up after Kassi lost her courageous battle with AML in September 2014.  We have walked as part of the LLS’s Light the Night Walk in 4 different parts of the country, helping to raise funds and carry on Kassi’s legacy.  During the 2015 MWOY Campaign Cassie Morinville was nominated and then won in Boise, Idaho, as part of Team Kassi.  One of our goals this year is to raise enough money to open a research portfolio in Kassi’s name.

MADDOX HABERDASHER (click link to donate to Maddox’s MWOY campaign)

64 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_

How has being nominated changed your life and what do you hope to achieve in the weeks ahead?

Being nominated has changed my life through readjusting my internal priority list and focus more on the greater good and my personal legacy. What I hope to achieve in the weeks ahead is to become the embodiment of a rallying cry for this new idea of community on the Monterey Peninsula.

STEPHAN LINS (click link to donate to Stephan’s MWOY campaign)

57 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_

How has being nominated changed your life and what do you hope to achieve in the weeks ahead?

While working for a language company that helps people communicate all over the world, I always wanted to make sure we also stay socially involved in our community right here at home. Over the years, my company has contributed to many local charities and causes, including sponsorship of one of last year’s LLS Man of the Year candidates. But this year my team and I really wanted to raise the stakes. Cancer has touched my immediate and my extended family last year and made it a very real and personal issue. I was incredibly impressed with LLS, its organization, professionalism, and the actual direct impact it has made on cancer research and cancer patients. I feel fortunate and empowered to be able to help make a difference in someone’s life as I embark on my journey to raise funds for LLS.

PLEASE VISIT THE LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY’S SILICON VALLEY & MONTEREY CHAPTER  FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN HELP.

 

 

 

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