Matt Daniels’ involvement with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year campaign is personal.
“When I was 17, my dad was diagnosed with lymphoma after he discovered a lump in his neck,” said Daniels of the Unity Group LLC, one of 11 candidates who is raising money for the organization.
After chemotherapy and radiation, Daniels’ father, Jerry, went into remission after that first diagnosis in 2002, but it recurred more than five years later.
The second time, he underwent a more aggressive treatment with physician, Anand Jillella, whose cancer research is funded through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. That’s a main reason Matt Daniels said he is participating with the campaign as a way of giving back to the man who helped save his father’s life.
Jerry Daniels recently hit his second five-year remission mark.
The goal of the Man and Woman of the Year campaign is to raise $135,000 during the 10-week campaign, which began on March 7 with a kickoff at Enterprise Mill and ends with a gala on May 17 at Sacred Heart Cultural Center.
Kate Sanders, the Augusta campaign manager, said there are three areas the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society funds through the Man and Woman of the Year and other fundraisers such as Team in Training. In addition to supporting local research at Georgia Regents University through Dr. Jillella, funds go toward patient services and advocacy.
“A large portion goes to patient services,” said Sanders. “Just in the state of Georgia, $1.2 million was dispersed to patients.”
There are support programs such as the Patti Robinson Kaufmann First Connection Program, “a peer-to-peer program that links newly diagnosed patients and their families with trained volunteers who have experienced blood cancer firsthand and can understand their experience,” according to the website, www.lls.org.
Also, there are programs to assist with patient co-pays and insurance premiums.
The other candidates include Amy Adamo, Southern Company; Ames Barnett, Barnett Southern; Christy Beckham, A.B. Beverage Co., Inc.; B.J. Brush, Artistic Curb Co.;Dr. Jennifer Herbert, University Hospital; Mike Montarbo, Evans Fitness Club; Amanda Mooney, C&C Automotive; Laurie Pratt, Serenity Day Spa; Lara Reeves, River Ridge Elementary School; and Jay Weigle, Weigle Insurance Group.
For more information about the Man and Woman of the Year, visit www.mwoy.org/ga or call (706) 733-4190.