The Explainer: New York City’s Man and Woman of the Year

Blood cancer, unquestionably, is not the most cheerful of topics. Yet statistics such as these—an individual in the US is diagnosed with blood cancer every three minutes; more than 176,000 new blood cancer cases will be diagnosed in the US this year—make it hard to ignore. For your general knowledge, blood cancers generally start in the blood marrow and disrupt normal blood cell development with the growth of a cancerous blood cell. The cancerous blood cells, in turn, prevent the body from fighting off infections or preventing bleeding.

You’ve probably heard of the three main types of blood cancer: leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. More children and adults under 20 die from leukemia than any other cancer. In the US, an estimated 88,490 people live with myeloma, and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the 6th most common cancer in the US.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) is “the largest voluntary cancer research agency specifically focused on finding cures and better treatments for blood cancer patients.” LLS is phenomenal in that it focuses its research on finding cures for blood cancers without regard to commercial return. LLS funds hundreds of “promising researchers at leading cancer centers and universities worldwide” and strives toward a world without blood cancer.

Every year, LLS sponsors a 10-week campaign to elect New York City’s Man and Woman of the Year by picking 15 “community and business leaders who are philanthropic, ambitious, socially active, resourceful, goal oriented, and passionate about making a difference in the lives of people suffering from blood cancers.” Receiving the honor of inclusion as a candidate is incredibly impressive and no small feat–whatever may be said about New York City, it has more than its share of exceptional citizens. The candidates compete amongst themselves to see who can raise the most money to support blood cancer research ($1 equals one vote), and the winner is elected NYC’s Man or Woman of the Year. To date, these campaigns have raised more than $1 billion, which went straight to blood cancer research.

This year, LLS honored our friend, Allie Schnall, by choosing her to be one of NYC’s candidates for Man or Woman of the Year. Allie’s campaign, Allie’s Allies for a Cure, set the ambitious goal of raising $100,000 throughout the 10-week campaign, monies which will go directly to blood cancer research. Her campaign ends Thursday, June 4th. It’s likely that somebody in your life has been or knows someone affected by blood cancer. Why not do something good today by making a donation in that person’s honor to this worthy cause?

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