The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) will close out its “Local Man & Woman of the Year Campaign” (MYOW) this Saturday June 8th with a sold out grand finale gala at Miami’s Intercontinental Hotel. One local man and woman will be recognized for their compassion and relentless desire to achieve their own personal fundraising goals. The proceeds of the campaign will go toward LLS’s mission of helping to find cures and ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients.
LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to finding cures for blood cancers and ensuring that patients have access to lifesaving treatments. With someone dying of blood cancer every nine minutes in the United States, LLS, through fundraising programs such as the MYOW campaign, has invested more than $1 billion in research to advance breakthrough therapies. South Florida has some of the most generous LLS donors who have made it their goal in life to help find a cure to this devastating condition affecting children and adults.
“Contributing to the mission of LLS is very close to my heart,” said Gregory Ward, a partner with Ward Law Group in Miami, who is a candidate for the local MYOW campaign. He has raised close to his goal of $500,000. “I lost my sister and father to this horrific and debilitating disease and I am committed to helping in the fight against blood cancer. If I receive the honor of becoming the 2019 MYOW, it will be an added value to what is already an amazing opportunity to give back to this cause as scientists study ways to harness the body’s own immune system to fight cancer and other alternative cures.”
The funds raised through LLS’s Man & Woman of the Year are used for research to advance targeted therapies and immunotherapies that are saving thousands of lives;
blood cancer information, education and support for patients; and policies that ensure patients have access to blood cancer treatments.
Starting in January, the nominated MYOW candidates put together campaign teams made up of their friends and associates. The goal is for candidates to raise as many dollars as possible and work with LLS to brainstorm and develop fundraising campaign teams. After a 10-week period, winners are announced at the Grand Finale Celebration. A record number of 700 people will attend the gala this year in Miami,
“Every 3 minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer and more than a third of blood cancer patients do not survive five years after their diagnosis,” said Eric Balaguer, executive board member with LLS. “We rely on campaigns such as MYOW and avid supporters like Mr. Ward to help further LLS’s mission.”
LLS has invested nearly $1.3 billion in cancer research since the organization was founded in 1949. This has led to breakthroughs in immunotherapy, genomics and personalized medicine that are improving and saving the lives of patients. LLS has also helped advance 34 of the 39 blood cancer treatment options approved by the FDA in 2018 and 2018.