SAN JOSE, Calif., May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter hosted its Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale in Monterey on May 6, 2017. The community joined together to support the seven candidates and honorary Team Driscoll's helping to raise a record-breaking $327,000 to help fund cancer cures.
Candidates and their campaign teams were judged solely on fundraising success, each dollar counting as one vote. The Man of the Year, Jorge Rico of Salinas, and Woman of the Year, Sue Gilles, also of Salinas, raised $50,000 and $105,000 respectively, making a significant impact in the fight against cancer.
Man of the Year, Jorge Rico, was only 23 years old when he was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. One of the hardest moments of Jorge's life was telling his family he had cancer. He was in remission, but recently his leukemia returned. On March 16, 2017, he received a successful bone marrow transplant from his mother. Jorge's passion is coaching soccer at Palma High School, and the community supported him when he was nominated for Man of the Year. He has inspired many with his commitment to raise funds to fight cancer while fighting cancer himself.
Woman of the Year, Sue Gilles' motivation and inspiration behind her team "For The Love Of Dad," is in loving memory of her father who lost his ten-year battle to stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Sue has lived her life by her father's example by continually giving back to her community, remembering how precious life is, and doing all she can do to make a difference for those living with cancer.
Thank you to all the 2017 Man & Woman of the Year Candidates: Michelle Cardinalli, Sue Gilles, Julie Hall, Emilia Morales, Sandra Vander Wal, Christian Campisi, and Jorge Rico.
"Congratulations to our winners and to all of our candidates and campaign team members who participated in this year's Man & Woman of the Year campaign," said Courtney Karnes, Executive Director of the Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter. "These exceptional volunteers are all passionate and determined individuals and leaders in their communities. Together, we are moving closer to realizing LLS's goal, creating a world without blood cancer."
LLS is the world's leading non-profit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding cures for blood cancers and ensuring that patients have access to lifesaving treatments. Through programs like Man & Woman of the Year, LLS has invested more than $1 billion in research to advance breakthrough therapies. The funds raised are used for:
- Research to advance targeted therapies and immunotherapies that are saving thousands of lives
- Blood cancer information, education and support for patients
- Policies that ensure patients have access to blood cancer treatments
Candidates competed in this spirited 10-week fundraising competition in honor of the 2017 Boy of the Year, Ethan Pope, and Girl of the Year, Sienna Pope. Ethan is a blood cancer survivor, and his sister Sienna saved his life when she became his bone marrow transplant donor.
A video of the Pope family and their journey was captured by MediaLocate and can be seen here: https://youtu.be/We8uGKdbsaI
This campaign also brought together the corporate community who supported the candidates and their efforts. The Presenting Sponsor was Scheid Family Wines. Inspiration Sponsors were Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, 1st Capital Bank and MediaLocate. Community Sponsors were Don Chapin Company, Chris Shake Enterprises and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Service League.
Special Recognition was given to Scheid Family Wines who received the Community Leader: Corporate Philanthropy Award. This award honors a company that as a leader in the community inspires many with their dedication and commitment to the fight against cancer.
Photos of the 2017 Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale can be found here:
To learn more about the Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter's Man & Woman of the Year campaign, visit: http://mwoy.org/svmb
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: 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, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org.
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SOURCE Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter