Two Miamians were named this year’s Miami Man and Woman of the Year by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Southern Florida Chapter during the May 5 Grand Finale at the InterContinental Miami Hotel.
Jose Felix Diaz, Ballard Partners, and Thamia Nieto, Amadeus North America Inc., along with eight other Miami candidates, raised $381,900 to support LLS’s goal to find cures for blood cancers and ensure that patients have access to lifesaving treatments.
During an enthusiastic 10-week fundraising period beginning with a kickoff celebration, candidates across the country competed in honor of a local boy and girl who are blood cancer survivors to raise the most funds to ensure a world without blood cancers.
Candidates and their campaign teams were judged solely on fundraising success, each dollar counting as one vote. Their totals are then considered for the national title. Candidates in 56 LLS chapters across the country vie for the local title, and the highest fundraisers earn the title of National Man and Woman of the Year. The national titles will be awarded to the top fundraisers in the country, to be announced this summer.
Diaz and Nieto ran spirited campaigns in honor of and were inspired by cancer survivors — Miami Boy of the Year, Rafael Casero, 18, and Girl of the Year, Maya Perez, age 6. Rafael had Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Maya had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Both are in remission and doing well.
“Congratulations to our winners and to all of our candidates and their team members who participated in this year’s Miami Man and Woman of the Year campaign,” said DeAnn Hazey LLS executive director, Southern Florida Chapter. “These exceptional community leaders are all passionate and determined individuals, who helped LLS get closer to its goal of a world without blood cancer.”
LLS is the world’s leading non-profit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding cures for blood cancers and ensuring that patients have access to lifesaving treatments. They are the largest provider of free blood cancer information, education and support for patients. Every nine minutes someone in the U.S. dies of a blood cancer. Through programs like Man and Woman of the Year, LLS has invested more than $1.2 billion in research to advance breakthrough therapies.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood 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 chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at 800-955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. The Southern Florida Chapter can be reached at 954-744-5300.