Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Man & Woman of the Year

Hi :). So sorry it's been a while again since I did any updates on here. Up until this past Monday night, I had been using most of my free time after the kids were in bed to work on a talk that I gave Monday night. Let me explain. We have been connected with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) for quite some time. They have been a wealth of knowledge for us since Abbey was first diagnosed. They have helped in Abbey's medication co-pays and have treated us to tickets for lots of events such as CAVS games, Indians games, the zoo and The Polar Express. We have been very blessed by the support that they have given us over these past couple years.

Well a couple of months ago we were contacted by them to tell us that Abbey had been chosen to be "The Girl of the Year" for their big fundraising event called Man & Woman of the Year. There are 2 children picked each year, a girl and a boy who are both blood cancer survivors. They are in a way the motivation and poster children of the campaign.

This is how it works.... There are 9 candidates and each candidate has 10 weeks to raise as much money as they can over that time. The candidates are all outstanding citizens in our community. They are hard working, goal-oriented, compassionate people. Their relentless efforts are focused on making life better for hundreds of thousands of patients battling blood cancers. They will use our story (and Eric Reising's story who is the Boy of the Year) as they do many events over the 10 week period to raise as much money as possible for LLS. I was just looking at Todd Stuart's blog (he's one of the candidates) and his goal is to raise $100,000! Pretty amazing how hard these individuals work!

Well Monday evening was the Kickoff event for the fundraiser to begin. It was a wonderful evening! It was at a beautiful country club where we were treated to dinner and then us and the Reisings had the opportunity to share our journeys through leukemia. I was overwhelmed by the response that we received after our talks as people were so motivated and excited to get out there and start their campaigns. We got to meet all the candidates and lots of pictures were taken of Abbey, Eric and the candidates and their teams.

We are so thankful for the way in which God continues to allow our story to be heard and for it to be used for good. Just when I think things are settling down, another opportunity falls into our laps! When we left the kickoff on Monday night, my heart was so full as so many people were impacted and excited to get out there to raise money for blood cancer awareness and funds to further in the research. We are so honored to be a part of this!

Today a candidate came over and told us of all the plans that his team of 15 people have for their campaign. He shot a video of me again sharing our story and took some video of Abbey. The ideas that these people are coming up with are so unique, fun and amazing! From auctions to runs to black tie events to battle of the bands! We can't wait to see all the places that our story will go over these next 10 weeks.

On May 20th is the grande finale. We were told that when you walk in this final event, you can just feel the energy in the room. There will be about 400 people there and it sounds like an evening that we will never forget. Everything from a live band to a silent and live auction to fabulous food and cocktails, it will be a night to remember. And they will be doing a slideshow of Abbey and Eric's journeys along with our families given the opportunity to share. That evening, one of the candidates will be crowned Man or Woman of the Year! We will keep you updated on all that will be happening over these next 10 weeks :). Below are some pictures from kickoff.

My mom and Abbey :)

The Boy & Girl of the Year! Both leukemia survivors :)!!!

Sharing our story

Abbey, Eric and some of the candidates

Abbey and Eric giving the candidates their gift bags

Abbey and one of the teams

What a night!

For more information about Man and Woman of the Year, click here. And to see Abbey and Eric on LLS's website, click here :).


Mel said...

This is so exciting for you all!!!!

Cindy Bailey said...

Shelley , what a wonderful society and campaign to be a part of. As always Abbey's beautiful smile never ceases to amaze me. She's really growing up and gets more beautiful as time goes on. I wish you all the best and hope for a good outcome. Abbey sure is girl of the year in my eyes. God Bless!