ALEXANDRIA, VA – For Alexandria Pastor Deborah Porras, there is a personal reason to participate in the 2021 Woman of the Year campaign for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Her son Gabe, 13, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 7 and fought his way to a healthy life. For that reason she wants to give something back and ensure that other children can survive cancer.
Porras, pastor at Beverley Hills Community UMC in Alexandria, is participating in the 10-week Man / Woman of the Year campaign for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society in the DC metropolitan area. The fundraising team, “No One Fights Alone”, will be hosting the LLS fundraiser through June 12. Porras aims to raise $ 100,000 within 10 weeks so that LLS can fund new treatments and find a cure for blood cancer.
At age 7, Gabe dealt with Hodgkin’s lymphoma with chemotherapy treatments, hospital stays, surgeries, numerous needle sticks, vomiting, missing school and the reality that he could die, Porras said. Now, even as a healthy 13-year-old, long-term side effects still affect him.
“Gabe is now a healthy 13-year-old, and every year we celebrate that his cancer hasn’t returned, but every year we know it could be,” Porras wrote. “His life, our life, will never be the same again, but he lives, and we are very grateful, we want the same thing for all children, all people.”
The Woman of the Year campaign, led by Porras, aims to give back to other children and show gratitude for Gabe’s recovery. The “No One Fights Alone” fundraising team refers to the community that supported the family when Gabe fought cancer.
Another part of the fundraiser is getting residents of Alexandria directly involved. In honor of the “brood” of loved ones helping families get through a cancer battle, the fundraising team will be launching a flock of chickens in Alexandria yards starting May 1. Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson has agreed to take the chickens off yard, according to Porras.
When the chickens show up in their yard, residents can text or call the number on the enclosed card and indicate another house in Alexandria to move the chicken family to. Residents are encouraged to make a donation to LLS as well.
“We hope these chickens encourage a lot of excitement and community involvement around the reality that we can help fund new treatments and even a cure for blood cancer,” Porras said.
The fundraising team will also host a “Donate Back” night in aid of LLS at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza on Monday, May 17. When ordering takeout, delivery, or in-person dining, customers can let the restaurant know they want to “support Deborah.” Porras’ LLS Woman of the Year. “
LLS is at the heart of the Children’s Initiative, a multi-year effort to raise $ 100 million to tackle childhood cancer in every way, including new research grants to promote new therapies, improve free education and support services for children and their families, and to renew. policy and advocacy. As part of the initiative, LLS is also collaborating to launch the first global clinical trial in precision medicine for children with acute leukemia.
To donate, see Porras’ Woman of the Year Fundraiser.