Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dallas Community Leaders Launch a Ten-Week Fundraising Campaign For The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)

(Press Release) The North Texas Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) kicked off its Man & Woman of the Year (MWOY) campaign on April 12th at Sambuca in downtown Dallas. The event, which is a signature campaign of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), is a ten week fundraising blitz among eight business and civic leaders in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The candidates will be raising money in honor of two North Texas Honored Heroes. Sadie Keller is the Girl of the Year and Brian Shaw is the Boy of the Year. Both are currently in the maintenance phase of their treatment regimen for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). ALL is the number one cancer killer of children under 18 years old. The 2015 North Texas MWOY campaign shattered national records by raising more than $657,000 last year. Erin Ragsdale, a senior vice president at Alyn Media, was named the National Woman of the Year after she raised $457,000 during the ten week campaign.

The 2016 candidates represent a diverse group of industries and connections to the LLS mission:

Dr. Brian Berryman is the attending physician for the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Services at Baylor University Medical Center and is the Medical Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Services at Medical City Hospital Dallas. He also serves as a member of the North Texas Medical Advisory Board.

Michael Leyton is the owner of his own business, MLeyton Co and works as a freelance marketing specialist in the Dallas area. Michael and his sister are both blood cancer survivors.

George Meza is a senior manager at Accenture and a survivor of follicular B Cell lymphoma. He is also a longtime cycle coach for LLS’s Team In Training Program and a member of the North Texas Board of Trustees.

Shannon Ridley is an Account Executive with Amazon Web Services and is running in memory of his brother who fought and lost his battle against multiple myeloma.

Jeanne Buck works for Takeda Pharmaceuticals which produces multiple blood cancer related drugs, including drugs specifically geared towards multiple myeloma. Jeanne is participating in honor of her brother who is a lymphoma survivor.

Leigh Costa owns her own sports marketing firm, Costa Sports Marketing, and donated her bone marrow back in 2014 to help a patient battling leukemia.

Loan Huynh is an account manager for Imagine! Print Solutions and is a two-time leukemia survivor. She serves on the North Texas Board of Trustees.

Amanda Whitelaw serves as Vice President of New Business Development at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and is running in honor of her mom’s fight against blood cancer.

The campaign will end with a black tie Grand Finale Gala, which will be held on Saturday, June 18th at the Renaissance Hotel in Dallas, TX. For more information visit visit

Photo c/o The North Texas Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The 2016 MWOY candidates at kickoff. (L-R) Michael Leyton, Amanda Whitelaw, George Meza, Loan Huynh, Shannon Ridley, Leigh Costa, Dr. Brian Berryman (missing: Jeanne Buck)