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(Rye Brook, NY, July 12, 2022) — The adage that there’s power in numbers rings true and loud for the thousands of candidates who participated in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) 2022 Man & Woman of the Year® campaign — a nationwide philanthropic competition in which individuals from diverse backgrounds come together in efforts to fight blood cancer, a disease diagnosed every 180 seconds in the U.S. and has no current means of prevention.
Adam M. Neary of Albany, NY, was named National Man of the Year, raising $1,095,692, and Emily Lipman Mahar of Atlanta, GA, was named National Woman of the Year, raising $1,001,911. The campaign has helped LLS invest more than $1.5 billion in cutting-edge research worldwide, fueling nearly every critical advancement in blood cancer treatment that spans the most promising cancer research. And as the leading source of free blood cancer information, education, and support, LLS helps blood cancer patients and their families through a wide range of free services.
“These dedicated volunteers are helping LLS invest in groundbreaking research frontiers, including precision medicine, immunotherapy, and links between mutations and blood cancer — advancements that are changing the paradigm of cancer treatment,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and CEO. “Together, we are reaching new heights in transforming the landscape of blood cancer care and support.”
National Man of the Year, Neary, a Principal at WealthOne, LLC ran for Man of the Year in honor of his friend and mentor, Todd Slingerland, who was diagnosed with an aggressive type of lymphoma in spring of 2021. After enduring several months of intense treatment, he is now in remission.
“Todd is a survivor today because of the investment, research, and support for which LLS tirelessly champions,” said Neary. “Just because Todd’s cancer is dormant, doesn’t mean we can be — the fight continues, and it will continue until we find a cure.”
National Woman of the Year, Lipman Mahar, turned her pain into passion by running for Woman of the Year — she lost her mother, Eva Goldberg Lipman, to Hepatosplenic Gamma Delta T-cell lymphoma, a rare form of lymphoma, in November 2020.
“I accepted this nomination knowing it would be difficult, but also I knew this was the way to honor my mother,” said Lipman Mahar. “She gave back in so many ways, and now it was my turn. No family should have to experience the devastation of cancer.”
Lipman Mahar became the first National Woman of the Year to raise over $1 million in the campaign’s over 30-year history.
National Man of the Year Runner-up, David Borowski of West Monroe in Ashburn, VA, raised $595,864. His daughter, Ella, is a two-time survivor of acute myeloid leukemia. In addition to their daughter’s heroic journey, Borowski and his wife, Kate, are particularly motivated by LLS’s Dare to Dream Project.
The Dare to Dream is a five-year initiative by LLS to transform treatment and care for pediatric blood cancer. Because kids are different and need to be treated differently, Dare to Dream will fund groundbreaking research and the LLS PedAL Master Clinical Trial as well as expand LLS support services and drive advocacy efforts to help all kids with blood cancers get accessible, affordable, quality healthcare.
National Woman of the Year Runner-up, Natasha del Barrio of Bert Ogden Auto Group in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, raised $840,106. “It’s truly remarkable what can be accomplished when people come together for a common goal, and for us, our goal was to end blood cancer,” said del Barrio.
The Bert Ogden Auto Group exemplified the power in numbers when they ran a successful “Give Back” promotion at their 22 dealerships. They donated $100 from each car sold and this resulted in a more than $600,000 donation from Bert Ogden Auto Group.
National “All Star” Man of the Year, Matt Newsom of Custom Benefit Auctions in Charlotte, NC raised $539,291. Newsom initially ran for Charlotte Man of the Year in 2016, but after losing his mother, Ellen to cancer earlier this year, running for “All Star” had a whole new meaning for him. He ran his campaign in her honor and was humbled by the support he received from his entire team. Notably, Newsom had a few members on his team raise over $50,000 individually
National “All Star” Woman of the Year, Christine Mills of The Virginia Academy in Washington, D.C., raised $133,485. As a three-time cancer survivor, Mills ran in the All Star campaign to celebrate her survivorship and honor her friend, Brooke, who lost her battle with leukemia in December.
“I know I am one of the lucky ones,” said Mills. “We have to keep coming together to fight this horrific disease until we live in a world without cancer.”
National “All Star” Man & Woman of the Year runners-up were Thomas Shea, M.D. of Chapel Hill, NC and Halleigh Duff of Atlanta, GA.
In addition to personal inspiration, all candidates compete in honor of local children in their communities who are cancer survivors.
The funds raised through LLS's Man & Woman of the Year candidates are used:
- For continuing research of lifesaving therapies like targeted therapies and immunotherapies that are saving thousands of lives.
- For blood cancer information, education and support.
- To support patients in their communities
- To drive policies that increase development of and access to new treatments.
Despite the progress, more than a third of blood cancer patients still do not survive five years after their diagnosis.
Learn more about Man & Woman of the Year and how to get involved here.
Blood cancer patients and their families can contact the LLS Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., ET.
About Man & Woman of the Year
Man & Woman of the Year candidates from across the country compete in honor of 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 individuals 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 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 (www.mwoy.org) 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. 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 regional offices throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the LLS Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., ET.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society