2019 Man & Woman of the Year Leaders Meet Cancer Pioneer Dr. Brian Druker

2019 Man & Woman of the Year Leaders Meet Cancer Pioneer Dr. Brian Druker

Portland, OR (04-10-19) – The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Oregon, SW Washington, Idaho & Montana (OSWIM) Chapter is proud to host the 15th annual Man & Woman of the Year philanthropic challenge.  This year, 15 dynamic business and community leaders (“Candidates” or “Class of 2019”) are participating in this innovative and fierce 10-week fundraising competition, our largest class yet.  Candidates are working hard to raise critical funds to advance breakthrough cancer treatments and to support the more than 1.3 million blood cancer patients in the U.S.  The Candidates who raise the most money earn the title Man or Woman of the Year, presented by Lanphere Auto Group. 

At a recent event co-hosted by The Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and LLS, the Candidates marked their halfway point in the 10-week challenge with a lecture by eminent oncologist Dr. Brian Druker, Director of OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute and lead researcher on the LLS-led Beat AML Master Clinical Trial. Candidates were also treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of his research lab. 

Dr. Druker inspired participants by sharing his experience of developing Gleevec, a game-changing cancer therapy that received funding from LLS.  He encouraged the Candidates to never give up, and reminded them that their impact will be felt beyond blood cancer, as many therapies currently being used to treat solid tumors, autoimmune diseases and other serious illnesses were first developed to fight blood cancers.

LLS’ Board of Trustees Co-Chair, Tam Driscoll, who has raised over $1 million for the organization over the last 18 years and won the 2016 National All-Star Woman of the Year, knows how rewarding this 10-week challenge can be.  She reminded the Candidates that they are “part of something bigger - you are helping to save lives and change the world.  Remember who you are fighting for, and never give up.”

“It’s humbling to support these high-profile leaders as they fundraise – many for the first time – in support of our mission,” said Stephanie Carlson, LLS’s OSWIM Chapter Executive Director. “These are busy people who are also compassionate and driven to leave their mark on the world.  LLS is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to fighting blood cancers, and our Man & Woman of the Year program provides them with the tools and platform they need to leave a lasting legacy on the cancer landscape.”


About the Man & Woman of the Year program

The OSWIM Class of 2019 has set a goal of $1 million and a world without cancer. This 10-week campaign culminates with a black tie benefit gala, Grand Finale, on May 11, 2019 at the Hilton Hotel Portland.  At this sold-out event guests will be treated to a high-energy auction, dinner and after-party entertainment made possible by support from our generous sponsors including: Lanphere Auto Group, Oregon Oncology Specialists, ADP Foundation, MaritzCX, ID Experts, Mountain West Investment Corporation, Future State Consulting, Adaptive Biotechnologies, Gold + Arrow Salon, Macy’s Washington Square, Reliable Credit Association, SKA Wealth Strategies and BMW Salem and others. 

National All-Star Candidate Geri Naumcheff is representing the OSWIM Chapter in a unique opportunity for Man & Woman of the Year Alumni to compete again in support of the LLS mission to cure blood cancer.  Pictured with Dr Brian Druker, Geri first ran as a Candidate in 2015 and has also served in several volunteer leadership roles for LLS.  She now competes against other Chapters’ All-Stars.