Becoming a Visionary: Joining the Fight Against Cancer
Over the last ten weeks, I had the honor of leading a small team in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Visionaries of the Year fundraising campaign, and last weekend was an inspiring culmination of generosity, surprises, and hard work. Together with other teams throughout Los Angeles, we raised over $980,000 for patients, families, and caregivers facing healthcare challenges throughout America.
I had been nominated to be a "Visionary of the Year" candidate by Jonathan Unger of Unger Media back in January. Like most people who have been asked to join, I was hesitant to commit to the mission, but after experiencing so much grief, loss, and trauma in my own family and getting an up-close look at the American healthcare system over the last 18 months (a soul-crushing experience), I felt compelled to sign up to save lives and, as they say, make a difference.
And it's been quite a journey.
After ten weeks of emailing, posting, calling, texting, and messaging everyone in my contacts, I emerged from the hustle as someone whose hope for humanity was reinstated. The experience scraped off the hard, crusty shell of cynicism that had developed over the last several years, a time when the world seemed to be swirling down a drain of despair. But make no mistake: I'm still a realist at heart, but a realist with some softened edges. (Winning the Patient Support Mission Award at the Grand Finale Celebration Gala also helped – see below.)
That all said, if you’re reading this and donated to my campaign, thank you for being a significant part of this achievement and honor.
As a global leader in the fight against blood cancer, LLS:
- Funds cutting-edge research leading to breakthroughs in immunotherapy, genomics, and personalized medicine that are improving and saving the lives of patients.
- Provides free education and support for blood cancer patients and families, including personalized, one-on-one support, assistance with identifying and enrolling in clinical trials, and more.
- Mobilizes thousands of advocates to drive policy changes that accelerate the development of new cancer treatments and break down barriers to care.