Philanthropic Powerhouses Remain Laser-Focused in Pursuit of a World without Cancer | News

RYE BROOK, NY, July 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) officially announced the winners of the 2021 Man & Woman of the Year® campaign — a nationwide philanthropic competition that draws thousands of individuals from diverse backgrounds come together for an exciting 10 weeks of creative fundraising efforts to fight blood cancer, a disease diagnosed every three minutes in the US and with no means of prevention. Every dollar raised by candidates and their team counts as one vote, and this year’s results piled up into another record-breaking fundraising campaign.

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Josh Sussberg of Scarsdale, NY, was awarded the honorable title, National Man of the Year, breaking a new campaign record, raising $1,747,918, and Julia Lauria of Atlanta, GA, was named National Woman of the Year, bringing in $ 538,047 on. The campaign has helped LLS invest more than $1.3 billion in groundbreaking blood cancer research worldwide, leading to breakthroughs in treatment. And as the premier source of free blood cancer information, education and support, LLS helps patients with blood cancers through a wide range of free services. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, LLS has continued to focus on its mission priorities: research, education and support, and policy and advocacy.

“Advancing and accelerating our mission would not be possible without the relentless volunteers and supporters who raise vital funds through campaigns such as Man & Woman of the Year,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and CEO. “Together, our work is driving medical breakthroughs in the cancer landscape. At LLS, we have the strength, passion and determination to ensure that blood cancer patients live longer and better.”

National Man & Woman of the Year winners

National Man of the Year, Sussberg, a partner in the Restructuring Group at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2016 and knows firsthand the devastation of blood cancer. “Cancer has a way of uniting us all and bringing us together for the common goal of eradicating this debilitating and terrible disease,” said the father of three young boys, who has been in remission since December 2016. “Everyone involved in this campaign is a winner for working together to make that goal possible.”

National Woman of the Year, Lauria, a vice president of athlete branding at SportsTrust Advisors, felt inspired to run for Woman of the Year after witnessing several friends be touched by cancer. “I don’t have anyone in my family who has been directly affected by cancer, but that makes it even more of a responsibility for me to give back,” Lauria said. She led a groundbreaking campaign team focused on raising awareness of equality and diversity in the cancer arena. “It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you believe in, we all know someone whose world was turned upside down by cancer.”

National Man of the Year Runner-up, Bryan Thomas from World Wide Technology in Washington, DC, raised a record $1,252,218. Thomas, like Sussberg, was one of three winners of the 2021 national campaign that crossed the $1 million fundraising mark. “I’m really humbled and excited to set a new bar to cure cancer and fund life-saving research,” Thomas said.

National Woman of the Year Runner-up, Denise Hartmann from BASF Corporation in Charlotte, NC, has raised $482,293. Hartmann, a longtime LLS supporter and volunteer, continues to keep a promise she made to her father, who died of prostate cancer in 2004: “One step, one mile and one dollar at a time.”

National “All Star” Man of the Year, Stephen Collins of MassMutual in San Antonio, TX, has raised a record $2.26 million — the highest amount ever raised by a candidate in campaign history. With his first Man of the Year campaign in 2014, he linked his fundraising efforts to two LLS-funded research portfolios, including one for a groundbreaking immunotherapy treatment, CAR-T therapy. His 2021 All Star campaign was a full circle experience because his close friend’s wife, whom he led in his honor, recently received CAR-T therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and she is now in remission.

National “All Star” Woman of the Year, Dianne Callahan from Catalyst Coaching in Highland, CA, raised $150,047. Callahan’s sister is a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) survivor and is a three-time NHL survivor herself. She credits the LLS-funded treatment, Rituxan, for helping to save her life.

In addition to personal inspiration, all candidates compete in honor of local children in their community who are cancer survivors. Childhood cancer is a crucial source of motivation for all applicants to raise money – while many children survive leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, the treatments are harsh and outdated. Through the LLS Children’s Initiative, LLS is tackling childhood cancer from all sides, breaking the status quo with a bold vision for young patients – to not only survive their cancer, but thrive in their lives after treatment.

For more information about Man & Woman of the Year and how to get involved, visit

About Man & Woman of the Year

Man and Woman of the Year candidates from across the country compete for local childhood blood cancer survivors to raise the most money for blood cancer research. Each dollar raised counts as one vote and the titles will be awarded to the individuals with the most votes at the end of the campaign. The best local fundraisers in the country win the national titles.

In addition, past participants show that the fight against cancer is not over until there is healing and access for all by re-entering the Man & Woman of the Year “All Star” competition. This program offers selected alumni of Man & Woman of the Year the opportunity to represent their local campaign nationwide.

Visit the Man & Woman of the Year website ( to support a candidate and learn how to get involved in LLS.

About the Leukemia and Lymphoma Association

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is a world leader in the fight against cancer. The LLS Mission: Curing Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease, and Myeloma. LLS funds life-saving 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 in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit Patients should contact the LLS Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9am to 9pm, ET.

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Media contact

Kristin Hoose

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Association

(914) 821-8973

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SOURCE The Leukemia and Lymphoma Association (LLS)

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