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Everyday Heroes Fight for a Cancer-Free Future

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society kicks-off 32nd annual Man & Woman of the Year campaign bringing together diverse communities across the country

Rye Brook, NY (April 15, 2021) Every three minutes, one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer. But, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the global leader in the fight against blood cancer, is making game-changing progress in changing this statistic. Today, LLS officially kicked off its 32nd annual Man & Woman of the Year®  campaign — a multimillion-dollar nationwide philanthropic competition in which thousands of individuals from diverse backgrounds come together for an exciting 10-weeks of creative fundraising efforts to fight blood cancer and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

“Man & Woman of the Year showcases how it’s not just doctors who are making breakthroughs in the blood cancer space, but it’s everyday heroes who fundraise for the clinical trials and accessible support services that are saving lives,” said Coker Powell, LLS SVP and Chief Development Officer. “Cancer does not discriminate. No matter where you’re from or what you believe in, we all know somebody who has been impacted by the devastation of cancer. That’s why we’re so grateful for the thousands of candidates and volunteers who fundraise for LLS — they are truly bringing us closer to a world without blood cancer.”

Funds raised through Man & Woman of the Year have helped LLS has invested more than $1.3 billion in cutting-edge blood cancer research worldwide, leading to breakthroughs in treatment. And, as the leading source of free blood cancer information, education, and support, LLS helps blood cancer patients through a wide range of free services, ranging from clinical trial navigation to one-on-one nutrition consultations to support programs like Myeloma Link, which aims to break down barriers and address the needs of underserved populations.

“The greater our representation in this lifesaving campaign, the broader our reach to individuals and communities who care about finding a cure and want to lend their support through fundraising, advocacy or leadership,” said Powell.

In addition to personal inspiration, all candidates compete in honor of local children in their communities who are cancer survivors. Childhood cancer is a pivotal source of motivation for all candidates to raised funds – while many children survive leukemia, the most common type of pediatric cancer, the treatments are harsh and outdated. LLS is striving to raise $100 million dollars for The LLS Children’s Initiative, a multi-year effort to take on childhood cancer.

“Every facet of our mission – research, education and support, and policy and advocacy – is working in harmony to put all blood cancer patients and their families first,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS President and CEO. “And that wouldn’t be possible without the everyday heroes involved in campaigns like Man & Woman of the Year.”

This year’s candidate class is featured in a celebratory announcement on, here.


Dr Dara

“Blood cancer patients are diverse, [so] the cures for this disease will come from all types of people.” Dara Spearman, 2019 Woman of the Year candidate, Fort Wayne, IN

Lauren Palmer

“I’m so passionate about supporting LLS, they’re a collaborative powerhouse.” Lauren Palmer, 2020 National Woman of the Year Runner-Up, Charlotte, NC

Richard Marquez

“There’s no better time than now to support the efforts of LLS.” Richard Marquez, 2019 Man of the Year Candidate, Miami, FL

About Man & Woman of the Year

Man & Woman of the Year candidates from across the country compete in honor of a local childhood blood cancer survivors to raise the most funds for blood cancer research. Every dollar raised counts as one vote and the titles are awarded to the man and woman with the most votes at the end of the campaign. The top local fundraisers in the country win the national titles.

In addition, past participants will show that the fight against cancer isn’t over until there are cures and access for all by competing again in Man & Woman of the Year's "All Star" competition. This program provides an opportunity for select Man & Woman of the Year alumni to represent their local campaign nationally.

Visit the Man & Woman of the Year website ( to support a candidate and learn how to become engaged with LLS.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is a global leader in the fight against 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 regions throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.

For additional information visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Media Contact:

Kristin Hoose

(914) 821-8973